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135. Reveries of war.

by C. J. H.
Mantle my heart with the damp, dark
Black as the midnight, and heavy as sin;
     Over my spirit let misery fall;
Windows of hope, let no daylight in;
     Memory sink, and close out the tone
Of olden days; or of treasured past,
     Light the great blaze of our wrongs alone;
Into the scales let their weight be cast.

Mantle my heart with the garb of steel;
     Sing her the songs of revenge and right;
Iron of rage, through my veins may I feel
     Thy strength to flow with the crimson bright.
Energy, wake! and courage, come!
     With stirring chant of camp and field,
Blaze on the altars of hearts and home,
     Courage, and Honor, and Right, our shield.

Mantle my heart in the soldier's attire,
     Powder-blacked, soiled, and dusty with use;
Nerve my arm to its truest fire,
     And in its scabbard my sabre loose;
Breathe on my spirit thy hot breath, War I
     Fire my heart with thy honest pride;
Shine in my face like a bright golden star,
     And muster the surge of the battle's tide.

Mantle my heart with the garb of strength!
     Justice, and Honor, and Truth, awake! Nerve on to conquest, until at length
The dawn of our noble peace shall break.
     Sons of the South! the grass is green,
The shadows are full, and the shade is strong;
     The graves of our manly fathers are seen,
And their courage and honor can fill our song.

The dead of the South drops its tears on the grave
     Where Washington, Jackson, and Clay repose;
As fresh as the dew-drop, the honest and brave
     Will carry their virtues, or scatter their foes; [108]
The land of their love — of our hearts — is our pride,
     And we will stand by it and cherish its sod,
Though we pour to protect it our hearts' crimson tide,
     And dying, will beg its protection from God.

Mantle my heart with thy stern garb, War!
     Thrill through my veins with thy clarion tone!
Like a “pillar of cloud,” and a bright blazing star,
     Is the flag of our bold and our new nation thrown,
The kind breeze of heaven will kiss its bright folds,
     And float them out grandly upon the pure air;
It emblems the pride of many brave souls,
     And carries the incense of many a prayer.

--N. O. Picayune.

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