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Little Major

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The Little Major

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The Little Major
(Henry Clay Work)

At his post the "Little Major"
Dropp'd his drum that battle day,
On the grass, all stained with crimson,
Through that battle night he lay.
     Crying "Oh! for love of Jesus,
     Grant me but this little boon,
     Can you, friend, refuse me water?
     Can you, when I die so soon?"

cho: Crying, " Oh! for love of Jesus!
     Grant me but this little boon!
     Can you, friend, refuse me water?
     Can you, when I die so soon."

There are none to hear or help him
All his friends were early fled,
Save the forms out-stretched around him
Of the dying and the dead.
     "Hush they come! There falls a footstep
     How it makes his heart rejoice!
     They will help, Oh they will save him
     When they hear his fainting voice.

Now the lights are flashing round him
And he hears a loyal word,
Strangers they, whose lips pronounce it,
Yet he trusts his voice is heard.
     It is heard--Oh God forgive them!
     They refuse his dying prayer
     "Nothing  but a wounded drummer?"
     So they say, and leave him there.

See! the moon that shone above him
Veils her face as if in grief;
And the skies are sadly weeping
Shedding teardrops of relief.
     Yet to die, by friends forsaken,
     With his last request denied,
     This he felt his keenest anguish
     When at morn, he gasped and died.

note: Sheet music carries the preface:
     They called him "Little Major"
     The noble drummer boy;
     The pride of all his regiment
     And his commander's joy.

From Songs of Henry Clay Work, Work
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