Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
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Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
 
Guy Humphreys McMaster. 1829–1887
 
168. Carmen Bellicosum
 
          IN their ragged regimentals, 
          Stood the old Continentals, 
              Yielding not, 
          While the grenadiers were lunging, 
          And like hail fell the plunging         5
              Cannon-shot; 
              When the files 
              Of the isles, 
From the smoky night-encampment, bore the banner of the rampant 
              Unicorn;  10
And grummer, grummer, grummer, rolled the roll of the drummer 
              Through the morn! 
  
          Then with eyes to the front all, 
          And with guns horizontal, 
              Stood our sires;  15
          While the balls whistled deadly, 
          And in streams flashing redly 
              Blazed the fires: 
              As the roar 
              On the shore  20
Swept the strong battle-breakers o'er the green-sodded acres 
              Of the plain; 
And louder, louder, louder, cracked the black gunpowder, 
              Cracking amain! 
          Now like smiths at their forges  25
          Worked the red St. George's 
              Cannoneers, 
          And the villainous saltpetre 
          Rang a fierce, discordant metre 
              Round our ears:  30
              As the swift 
              Storm-drift, 
With hot sweeping anger, came the horse-guards' clangor 
              On our flanks 
Then higher, higher, higher, burned the old-fashioned fire  35
              Through the ranks! 
  
          Then the bare-headed Colonel 
          Galloped through the white infernal 
              Powder-cloud; 
          And his broadsword was swinging,  40
          And his brazen throat was ringing 
              Trumpet-loud; 
              Then the blue 
              Bullets flew, 
And the trooper-jackets redden at the touch of the leaden  45
              Rifle-breath; 
And rounder, rounder, rounder, roared the iron six-pounder, 
              Hurling death! 
 
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