Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
May 1
Hooker ’s Across
By George H. Boker (1823–1890)
 
          The crossing of the river May 1, 1863, on the eve of the battle of Chancellorsville by “Fighting Joe” Hooker is commemorated in this poem.

    HOOKER ’s across! Hooker’s across!
Standards and guidons and lance-pennons toss
Over the land where he points with his blade,
Bristle the hill-top, and fill up the glade.
Who would not follow a leader whose blood        5
Has swelled, like our own, the battle’s red flood?
Who bore what we suffered, our wound and our pain,—
Bore them with patience, and dares them again?
                    Hooker ’s across!
 
    Hooker ’s across! Hooker ’s across!        10
River of death, you shall make up our loss!
Out of your channel we summon each soul,
Over whose body your dark billows roll;
Up from your borders we summon the dead,
From valleys and hills where they struggled and bled,        15
To joy in the vengeance the traitors shall feel
At the roar of our guns and the rush of our steel!
                    Hooker ’s across!
 
    Hooker ’s across! Hooker ’s across!
Fears to the wind, with our standards, we toss,        20
Moving together, straight on, with one breath,
Down to the outburst of passion and death.
O, in the depths of our spirits we know
If we fail now in the face of the foe,
Flee from the field with our flag soiled and dim,        25
We may return, but ’t will not be with him!
                    Hooker ’s across!
 
 
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