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Forth from its scabbard, high in air,
Beneath Virginia's sky— And they who saw it gleaming there, And knew who bore it, knelt to swear, That where that sword led they would dare
To follow and to die.
Out of its scabbard ! Never hand
Waved sword from stain as free, Nor purer sword led braver band, Nor braver bled for a brighter land, Nor brighter land had a cause as grand, Nor cause a chief like Lee!
Forth from its scabbard! How we prayed,
That sword might victor be ! And when our triumph was delayed, And many a heart grew sore afraid, We still hoped on, while gleamed the blade
Of noble Robert Lee !
Forth from its scabbard! All in vain !
Forth flashed the sword of Lee! 'Tis shrouded now in its sheath again, It sleeps the sleep of our noble slain, Defeated, yet without a stain,
Proudly and peacefully.