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[78]
God's will be done--
God bless them all!
For such have won
Half, ere their call!

There woman stands
With clonic hands I
Such woes infest
Her tender breast;
Her eyelids drip,
While the dumb lip
Essays in vain
To crush its pain
‘Neath smiling mask--
Self-cruel task!

In vain, in vain--
Hearts cannot feign
When their full swell
Bursts with farewell!
That buried face,
That shrieking phrase,
That dismal chill
As horrors thrill--
All, all confess
A keen distress!
And while thus wildly quakes her woe
Drum, drum, drum!
On they go!
Drum!
And loudly throbs that solemn beat
Of martial lines of measured feet
Down, down the stony street;
And to every ear and every heart
There throbs a truth, with subtle art,
A truth, the patriot's sacred trust,
That nerves his arm till brought to dust,
“Pledge cordial hand, true heart and all,
United stand; divided fall!”
Drum!

II.

Drum I
Drum! drum! drum! drum!
Drum!
On they come.
Here where the foe in grim array
Await the van to hew and slay,
Theirs the gory way!
And the horrid yell
And fearful hell
Of shot and shell
Begin the fight
Of Wrong and Right!
Hot flame and fire,
Wild rancor, ire,
Convulsive breath
And swifter death!
Austere endeavor
Or now or never
With fiendish will
To mar and kill!
God's image, cheap
In frequent heap,
Is rent and torn
And wildly borne
Piece, piece from piece,
With hell's caprice!

Oh! how shells shiver!
And torn trunks quiver!
From lip and breast
With frightful zest
The curse and gore
Their tides outpour;
The hands now clutch
Breasts, that too much
Of anguish bear--
As 'twere to tear
Their pulses out,
While torrents spout
Anew — the tone
'Twixt sigh and moan--
The dismal fear
That death is near--
The mental strife
'Gainst waning life--
The sudden bound
Up from the ground--
The choking gasp,
The loosened grasp--
And the cold eye
Glares 'gainst the sky!

Drum! drum! drum!
On they go!
Blow on, blow I
Drum!
Yet livelier beat for the devils yield!
God! in whom we win the field!
Be with us still our arms to wield!
On they fly,
Fast they die!
On, on, on,
They're gone!
And the throbbing drum
Beats far on
Like the peaceful hum
Of a dim cathedral's holy psalm,
In murmur pure, august and calm,
Full of Earth's meek, prayerful truth,
Rich of Heaven's benignant ruth 1
“Pledge cordial hand, true heart and all,
United stand; divided fall!”
Drum!

III.

Drum!
Drum! drum! drum I drum!
Drum!
Back they come!
And slowly throbs the solemn beat
Of martial lines of weary feet
Down, down the stony street!
Slow as a mighty soul it throbs,
Too sore and deep for tears or sobs,
And far too spent by lethal woes
For aught but slow and pond'rous throes I
Drum!
On they come!
And at each door
Fast throng a score
Of anxious souls,
Whom Hope condoles--
Who forward cast
Eyes half aghast,
And though tear-wet
Still rainbow-set.

O sore suspense!
A choking sense
Of loss, delight,
Of stars — but night!

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