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137. Kentucky.

by Estelle.
“Just send for us Kentucky boys,
     And we'll protect you, ladies.” [old song.

Then leave us not, Kentucky boys,
     Though thick upon thy border,
The vulture flaps his restless wing,
     And scowls the dark marauder.

Kentucky blood is just as proud,
     Kentucky powder ready,
Kentucky hearts are just as brave,
     Kentucky nerve as steady,

As when the flag we once revered
     Unfolded o'er her proudly,
And for the South, Kentucky's voice,
     Undaunted, echoed loudly.

The lion-hearted hero then,
     Who led that gallant number,
Must surely feel a sad unrest
     Disturb his death-cold slumber.

And one whose sire on history's page
     Is blent in proudest story,
Fell on a Southern field, and bathed
     His dying brow in glory;

Fell overcome by savage foes,
     Yet still their rage defying,
“(These, give my father,” cried the son,
     “And tell him how I'm dying.”

But now that flag is vilely stained,
     Its sacred rights invaded;
Wrong and dishonor wield the staff,--
     Its glory's sadly shaded.

And when we would its dying spark
     Snatch from the blackening ashes,
And worship once again its light,
     As through the world it flashes,

Kentucky leans upon her arms,
     And coldly looks about her,
Till hirelings at her very door
     Dare threaten and to flout her.

Desert us now, Kentucky boys,
     And on the future dawning,
Thy faded glory scarce will streak
     The first gray light of morning.

Heed not the starveling crew who hang
     Upon the blue Ohio;
A craven heart each traitor bears,
     And dare not venture nigher.

And should they?--Know ye not the blood
     Within our full hearts beaming,
At once ten thousand scabbards fly,
     Ten thousand blades are gleaming.

[109] Then waken from thy nerveless sleep,
     Gird on thy well-tried armor,
And soon the braggart North will feel
     That right has strength to harm her.

Kentucky boys and girls have we--
     From us ye may not take them;
Sad-hearted will ye give them up,
     And for the foe forsake them?

Oh, Tennessee, twin-sister, grieves
     To take thy hand at parting,
And feel that from its farewell grasp
     A brother's blood is starting.

It must not be!--Kentucky, come!
     Virginia loudly calls thee,
And Maryland defenseless stands
     To share what fate befalls thee.

Come, ere the tyrant's chain is forged,
     From out the war-cloud looming;
Come, ere thy palsied knee is bent,
     To hopeless ruin dooming.

--Memphis Appeal

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