Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1573. Joined the Blues
 
By John Jerome Rooney
 
 
SAYS Stonewall Jackson to “Little Phil:” “Phil, have you heard the news?
Why, our ‘Joe’ Wheeler—‘Fighting Joe’—has gone and joined the blues.
 
“Ay, no mistake—I saw him come—I heard the oath he took—
And you ’ll find it duly entered up in yon great Record Book.
 
“Yes, ‘Phil,’ it is a change since then (we give the Lord due thanks)        5
When ‘Joe’ came swooping like a hawk upon your Sherman’s flanks!
 
“Why, ‘Phil,’ you knew the trick, yourself—but ‘Joe’ had all the points—
And we ’ve yet to hear his horses died of stiff or rusty joints!
 
“But what of that?—the deed I saw to-day in yonder town
Leads all we did and all ‘Joe’ did in troopings up and down;        10
 
“For, ‘Phil,’ that oath be the heal of many a bleeding wound,
And many Southland song shall yet to that same oath be tuned!
 
“The oath ‘Joe’ swore has done the work of thrice a score of years—
Ay, more than oath—he swore away mistrust and hate and tears!”
 
“Yes, yes,” says “Phil,” “he was, indeed, a right good worthy foe,        15
And well he knew, in those fierce days, to give us blow for blow.
 
“When ‘Joe’ came round to pay a call—the commissaries said—
Full many a swearing, grumbling ‘Yank’ went supperless to bed:
 
“He seemed to have a pesky knack—so Sherman used to say—
Of calling, when he should be rights be ninety miles away!        20
 
“Come, Stonewall, put your hand in mine,—‘Joe’ ’s sworn old Samuel’s oath—
We ’re never North or South again—he kissed the Book for both!”
 

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