They fought, “the Saucy Seventy,” like brave men, long and well,
With wondrous skill and fortitude they dodged the hurtling shell;
Undauntedly they blazed away, with not a single crumb
Of dinner to console them — not one cheering drop of rum;
When, seeing 'twas impossible to fast and fight much more,
They strike their flag, and Foster falls — perspiring at each pore!
Hall waves his gleaming sword, looks proud defiance at his foes,
Then sinks exhausted, bleeding most profusely — at his nose;
And Doubleday, his longing eye fixed on the distant ships,
Collapses, with “My stomach! oh, my stomach!” on his lips.
A telegram is flying North, 'tis pithy, sharp and curt--
“Fort Sumter's taken — tell Old Abe that no-bod-y is hurt.”
A panic strikes the Cabinet, they wriggle in their chairs;
Seward mutters “curses deep, not loud” --Welles tries to say his prayers;
Old Uncle Abe, their royal liege, grows pallid at the news;
Uneasy twitch the nimble feet within his nimble shoes;
All downward through his spindle-shanks a nervous tremor flows,
And fast the courage oozes from the hero's valiant toes;
His hair begins to stand on end, his eyes are full of dread;
Already in the streets he hears the Southern. cohorts tread;
Already through the White House gates he sees the legions pour;
Already dreams their battle-axe is thundering at his door;
Already feels fierce cow-hide boots assail him in the rear,
And finds, alas, the seat of war uncomfortably near!
“Now if,” he cries, “my councillors, ye are inclined to flee,
(For 'tis not every one who'd like to face the Chivalry,)
And if the prospect of a fray should fill you with alarm,
If ye demand a Captain who will lead you out of harm,
Pack up your spoils, and while the Gin'ral keeps the foe at bay,
Put ye your trust in Providence, and set your legs in play,
And follow where this soger-cloak, all streaming in my flight,
Is like a streak of lightning seen-dissolving from the sight.
Ho, ho! for Illinois, my braves! hip, hip, hurrah, away!
Do what you choose — for me, why, I'll be hanged if I will stay!”
Now glory be to Uncle Abe, and Scott, his bully pet,
And Seward, the cook and bottle-washer of the Cabinet;
And glory to the mighty fleet that stood off Charleston Bar,
And left the dauntless Anderson to bear the brunt of war!