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I saw yon soldier startle, when
We passed an open glade, Where the low starlight, leaf and bough
A fairy picture made; Nor has he uttered word since then—
My heart can whisper why— 'Twas like the spot in Texas where
He bade his love good-by !
And when, beyond us, carelessly,
Some soldier sang adieu! My comrade here across his eyes
His coarse sleeve roughly drew; So, scarcely sound, save trampling feet,
Is echoed through the gloom— Because when stars are brightest, then
We're thinking most of home!
Hush! what an echo startles up
Around this rocky hill! Was 't shell, half-buried, struck my foot?
Or, stay—'tis a human skull! This ridge I surely seem to know
By light of yon rising moon; Ha! we battled here three mortal hours
One Sunday afternoon.
Last spring! See where our Captain stands, His head drooped on his breast—
At his feet that heap of bones and earth— You know now why his rest