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SONGS OF WAR AND PEACE 161
A bugle-call—two quick, ^harp notes—
Commands the column: " Halt! " To hearts that high ambition thrills,
Leaps hope with sudden vault; In hearts of men that duty rules,
Stern resolution reigns; In hearts that dread of danger thralls,
The ruddy current wanes.
A crackling 'long the skirmish line,
A fringe of puffs of white, And here and there a reeling man,
Gives earnest of the fight; Now, loud and long, the bugles cry
The " Forward! Double quick!" And, bending to the front, the men
Push where the bullets flick.
A flaming sheet; a flash and crash,
Along the rifle-pits That rib the sides of yonder slope,
And now the welkin splits, When red-breathed, roaring, brazen guns,
With hot and hurtling shot, Spurt shredded death amidst the ranks,
That, cheering, falter not.