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Pause here by this bedside. How mellow
The light showers down on that brow; Such a brave, brawny visage! Poor fellow!
Some homestead is missing him now; . Some wife shaded her eyes in the clearing ;
Some mother sits moaning, distressed ; While the lov'd one lies faint but unfearing,
With the enemy's ball in his breast.
Here's another; a lad—a mere stripling—
Picked up on the fields almost dead, With the blood through the sunny hair rippling,
From a horrible gash in the head! They say he was first in the action,
Gay-hearted, quick-handed and witty; He fought till he dropped with exhaustion,
In front of our fair Southern city.
Fought and fell 'neath the guns of that city,
With a spirit transcending his years; Lift him up in your large-hearted pity,
And wet his pale lips with your tears: Touch him gently ; most sacred that duty
Of dressing that poor shatter'd hand; God spare him to rise in his beauty,
And battle once more for his land!
Who groan'd ? What a passionate murmur:
" In Thy mercy, oh God! let me die! Ha! surgeon, your hand must be firmer,"
That musket ball 's entered his thigh: Turn the light on those poor furrow'd features,
Gray-haired and unknown, bless thee, brother! Oh Heaven! that one of Thy creatures
Should e'er work such woe on another.