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Alas! the rolling- hours pass slow—
The night is very dark and still— And in the marshes, far below,
Is heard the lonely whippoorwill: I scarce can see a foot ahead—
My ears are strained to catch each sound— I feel the leaves beneath me spread—
And the springs bubbling thro' the ground.
Along the beaten path I pace,
Where white rays mark my sentry's track; In formless things I seem to trace
The foeman's form, with bended back— I think I see him crouching low !
I stop and list—I stop and peer— Until the neighb'ring hillocks grow
To groups of soldiers, far and near.
With ready piece I wait, and watch,
Until my eyes—familiar grown— Detect each harmless earthern notch,
And turn "Guerrillas" into stone; And then amid the lonely gloom,
Beneath the tall magnolia trees, Mv silent marches I resume,
And think of other times than these.