Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
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Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
 
The March of the Regiment, 1861
By H. H. Brownell, U.S.N.
 
HERE they come!—’tis the Twelfth, you know,—
  The colonel is just at hand;
The ranks close up, to the measured flow
  Of music cheery and grand.
Glitter on glitter, row by row,        5
The steady bayonets, on they go
  For God and the Right to stand;
Another thousand to front the foe!
And to die—if it must be even so—
  For the dear old fatherland!        10
 
O trusty and true! O gay warm heart!
  O manly and earnest brow!
Here, in the hurrying street, we part—
  To meet—ah! when and how?
O ready and staunch! who, at war’s alarm,        15
On lonely hill-side and mountain-farm
  Have left the axe and the plough!
That every tear were a holy charm,
To guard, with honour, some head from harm,
  And to quit some generous vow!        20
For, of valiant heart and of sturdy arm
  Was never more need than now.
 
Ay! ’tis at hand!—foul lips, be dumb!
Our Armageddon is yet to come!
But cheery bugle and angry drum,        25
  With volleyed rattle and roar,
And cannon thunder-throb, shall be drowned
That day in a grander, stormier sound;
  The Land, from mountain to shore,
Hurling shackle and scourge and stake        30
Back to their Lender of pit and lake;
  (’Twas Tophet leased them of yore),—
O mighty heart! thou wast long to wake.—
’Tis thine, to-morrow, to win or break
  In a deadlier close once more,—        35
If but for the dear and glorious sake
  Of those who have gone before.
 
O Fair and Faithful! that, sun by sun,
Slept on the field, or lost or won,—
Children dear of the Holy One!        40
  Rest in your wintry sod.
Rest, your noble devoir is done,—
Done—and forever! Ours, to-day,
The dreary drift and the frozen clay
  By trampling armies trod;        45
The smoky shroud of the War-Simoom,
The maddened crime at bay with her Doom,
  And fighting it, clod by clod.
O Calm and Glory!—beyond the gloom,
Above the bayonets bend and bloom        50
  The lilies and palms of God.
 
 
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