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Songs of the rebels: beyond the Potomac.

by Paul H. Hayne.
They slept on the fields which their valor had won I
But arose with the first early blush of the sun,
For they knew that a great deed remained to be done,
When they passed o'er the River!

They rose with the sun, and caught life from his light--
Those giants of courage, those Anaks in fight--
And they laughed out aloud in the joy of their might,
Marching swift for the River:

On! on! like the rushing of storms through the hills--
On I on t with a tramp that is firm as their wills--
And the one heart of thousands grows buoyant and thrills
At the thought of the River!

Oh! the sheen of their swords I the fierce gleam of their eyes
It seemed as on earth a new sunlight would rise,
And king-like flash up to the sun in the skies,
O'er the path to the River.

But, their banners, shot-scarred, and all darkened with gore,
On a Strong wind of morning streamed wildly before,
Like the wings of death-angels swept fast to the shore,
The green shore of the River.

[96] As they march — from the hill-side, the hamlet, the stream--
Gaunt throngs whom the foeman had manacled, teem,
Like men just roused from some terrible dream,
To pass o'er the River.

They behold the broad banners, blood-darkened yet fair,
And a moment dissolves the last spell of despair,
While a peal as of victory swells on the air,
Rolling out to the River.

And that cry, with a thousand strange echoings spread,
Till the ashes of heroes seemed stirred in their bed,
And the deep voice of passion surged up from the dead--
Ay! press on to the River!

On! on! like the rushing of storms through the hills
On! on! with a tramp that is firm as their wills,
And the one heart of thousands grows buoyant and thrills
As they pause by the River.

Then the wan face of Maryland, haggard and worn,
At that sight, lost the touch of its aspect forlorn,
And she turned on the foeman full statured in scorn,
Pointing stern to the River.

And Potomac flowed calm, scarcely heaving her breast,
With her low lying billows all bright in the West,
For the hand of the Lord lulled the waters to rest
Of the fair rolling River.

Passed! passed! the glad thousands march safe through the tide.
(Hark, Despot! and hear the wild knell of your pride, Ringing weird-like and wild, pealing up from the side Of the calm flowing River!)

'Neath a blow swift and mighty the Tyrant shall fall,
Vain! vain! to his God swells a desolate call,
For his grave has been hollowed, and woven his pall,
Since they passed o'er the River!

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