49. the Sixth at Baltimore.
by B. P. Shillaber.Our country called on her sons for aid,
And we shouldered the gun and drew the blade,
Leaving the anvil, the plough, and the saw,
To fight for the Union and for law--
To fight for the flag our Fathers bore--
And our pathway led through Baltimore.
There was no moment for doubts or fears,
There was no time for sighs or tears;
We said “good bye” with hurried breath,
Then marched to the field of life or death,
And fealty to our land we swore
Ere we marched to its aid through Baltimore.
And godly hands in blessing were spread,
And smiles from beauty were on us shed,
And the starry flag that we bore in pride,
Was cheered and lauded on every side,
With devotion never known before,
As we took up our march for Baltimore.
'Twas April nineteenth, and the sun
That had seen the carnage at Lexington,
Shone on us as we took our way
Through lanes of traitors in hate's array,
And a scowling look each stern face wore,
That we saw as we marched through Baltimore.
Then hateful glances took sterner form,
And rained upon us a fearful storm;
Fierce terrible missiles around us fell,
'Mid oaths 'twould shame the sons of hell,
But we quailed not 'mid the angry roar
That swept through the streets of Baltimore.
Not a shout or cry in our ranks was beard,
But our rifles spoke the voiceless word,
And our leaden sentences went deep
To put seditious hearts to sleep;
But sadly, though sternly, we deplore
Our own brave, fallen at Baltimore.
But the guerdon of glory ‘s for those who fall;
For the nation's flag is their funeral pall,
And the nation's tears the turf bedew
That covers their hearts so bold and true;
Deathless are they who life gave o'er
On the bloody pavements of Baltimore.
The dead return — the arms to nerve
And hearts to strengthen that else might swerve;
They speak again from the silent sod
In a voice that stirs like the voice of God,
And heroes vow from their hearts' deep core
To follow the Sixth through Baltimore.