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7. Grandpa Nathan. Respectfully Inscribed to Gen. Leslie Combs.

by William D. Gallagher.


By the beach and hickory fire
     Grandpa Nathan sat at night,
With details of marching armies,
     And the news of many a fight,
When he laid aside the paper,
     Though its contents he had told,
He was plied with many questions
     By the young and by the old.
It's a war the most infernal,
     (Grandpa Nathan made reply,)
But the legions of the Union
     Soon will crush it out, or die!
If I only had the vigor
     Of just twenty years ago,
How I'd leap into my saddle!
     How I'd fly to meet the foe!


Nannie Hardin, dearest daughter,
     There's a spirit now abroad
That's akin to whatsoever
     Is at enmity with God.
It has wrought upon a portion
     Of the people of the land,
Till they almost think they're honest
     In the treason they have plann'd.
It has struck the sea with rapine,
     It has tinged its shores with blood,
And it rolls and surges inland
     Like a desolating flood.
It has rent the nearest kindred--
     E'en the mother and the son;
But, as God's a God of Justice,
     Its career will soon be run.


There's a camp in Wickliffe's meadow,
     Less than eighteen miles away--
John, at your age I could make it
     Twice 'twixt now and break of day;
Fill your buggy up with baskets,
     Fill each basket to the brim, [6]
Sweep the pantry of its choicest,
     Till the shelves are lean and slim;
Take a jug or two of apple,
     For these chill November damps
Oft benumb the weary sentries
     As they guard the sleeping camps.
Drive the pet of old Sarpedon--
     For the glory of his sires
He will make the camp at Wickliffe
     Ere they stir the morning fires.


Tell the soldier of Kentucky,
     And the soldier from abroad
Who has come to fight the battle
     Of his country and his God--
Tell them one who on the Wabash
     Fought with Daviess when he fell,
And who bled at Meigs, where Dudley
     Met the painted hosts of hell--
One who fought with Hart at Raisin,
     And with Johnson on the Thames,
And with Jackson at New Orleans,
     Where we won immortal names,
Sends them from his chimney corner
     Such fair greeting as he may,
With a few small creature-comforts
     For this drear November day.


Tell them he has watched this quarrel
     From its outbreak until now,
And, with hand upon his heart-beat,
     And God's light upon his brow,
He invokes their truest manhood,
     The full prowess of their youth,
In this battle of the Nation
     For the right and for the truth.
Tell them one whose years are sinking
     To the quiet of the grave,
Thus enjoins each valiant spirit
     That would scorn to be a slave--
“By the toil and blood your fathers
     In the cause of Freedom spent,
By the memory of your mothers,
     And the noble aid they lent--


By the blessings God has showered
     On this birthright of the free,
Give to Heaven a reverent spirit,
     Bend to Heaven a willing knee,
And in silence, 'mid the pauses
     Of the hymn and of the prayer,
To the God of Hosts appealing,
     By the God of Battles swear--
Swear to rally round the standard
     With our nation that was born,
With its Stars of world-wide glory,
     And its Stripes that none may scorn!
Swear to fight the fight forced on us,
     While an armed foe stirs abroad;
Swear to fight the fight of Freedom,
     Of the Union, and of God! “


Ah! he drives the young Sarpedon--
     Drives the son of glorious sires,
And he'll make the camp at Wickliffe's
     Ere they build the morning fires.
Do you know, child, I am prouder
     Of the spirit of your boy,
Than of any other grandson
     That e'er brought his mother joy?
And so now, good Nannie Hardin,
     For the night you'd best retire;
As for me, my child, I'm wakeful,
     And I'll still sit by the fire.
Oh, my soul is in the battles
     Of the Wabash and the Thames,
Where the prowess of Kentucky
     Won imperishable names!


I must see the camp at Wickliffe's
     Nannie, you as well can go;
I must mingle with the soldiers
     Who have come to meet our foe;
I must talk to them of battles
     By the ranks of Freedom won,
And of acts of valor ventured,
     And of deeds of daring done.
Ah, I'll take them to the ramparts
     Where their fathers fought of old,--
For my spirit now surveys them,
     As a chart that is unrolled,--
And I'll show them in the mirror
     Of the clouds and of the skies,
Where the hosts of glory marshal,
     And the flag of glory flies


Take a blanket, dear, from Effie,
     And a comfort here and there,
And from my good bed and wardrobe
     Strip whatever I can spare.
Hunt the house from top to bottom,
     And let the neighbors know
What they need, the men who shield them
     From the fury of the foe.
Be up early in the morning;
     Ask of all what they will send
To the camp in Wickliffe's meadow,
     Where each soldier is a friend.
'Twere a sin, whilst there is plenty,
     (Let us never feel the taunt,)
That the legions of the Union,
     Braving danger, were in want,


Write at once to Hatty Shelby,
     And — for both of them are there--
Send a line to Alice Dudley,
     And a word for Ruth Adair;
Then to-morrow write to Dorcas,
     And anon to Mollie Todd,--
Say they've work now for their country,
     For their freedom, and their God;
And if only half the spirit
     That their mother had is theirs,
There'll be rapid work with needles,
     And sharp rummaging up stairs.
Oh, it stirs the blood of seventy,
     Wherever it survives,
Just to touch the chain of memory
     Of the old Kentucky wives!


In a day or two-at farthest
     When the present rain is done-- [7]
You and I will take the carriage,
     With the rising of the sun,
And we'll spend a day, or longer,
     With the soldiers in their camps,
Taking stores that best may shield them
     From the chill November damps.
Oh, I'll cheer them on to battle--
     And I'll stir each lofty soul,
As I paint the fields of honor
     Where the drums of glory roll!
And I'll bid them never falter,
     While there's treason still abroad,
In this battle of the Nation,
     For our Union, and for God.


One who fought upon the Wabash
     By Joe Daviess when he fell,
And who bled at Meigs with Dudley,
     Where we met the hosts of hell;
One who fought with Hart at Raisin,
     And with Johnson on the Thames,
And with Jackson at New Orleans,
     Where we won immortal names,
Will be listened to with patience
     By the heroes now at hand,
Who have rushed on to our rescue,
     In this peril of the land.
By the memory of our fathers,
     By the brave, and by the just,
This rebellion shall be vanquished,
     Though each traitor bite the dust!

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Kentucky (Kentucky, United States) (3)
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