Bluegrass Ballads

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176             SONGS OF WAR AND PEACE
Sleep, ah sleep, ye brave, and listen,
In your dreams to battle's hum; See the foeman's armor glisten;
Hear the bugle-note and drum. Heads that rest on unslung knapsacks,
'Neath your blankets and the night, Close beside the bristling gunstacks,
Dream of morrow and the fight.
From the cottage homes or manors,
Whence ye came, a nation's pride, Prayers are rising for your banners,
And that weal may them betide. 'Twixt the hearthstone and the bivouac,
Love is whisp'ring words of cheer; 'Twixt the pillow and the knapsack,
Love, in dreams, brings lovers near.
When those heads are white with glory,
When the shadows from the west Lengthen as ye tell your story,
In the vet'ran's ward of rest, May no ingrate's word of sneering
Reach one heart of all the brave, But may honor, praise and cheering
Guard old valor to the grave.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III