57. the story of a day.A soldier slept, as the morning uprolled
O'er the white tents pitched on the pleasant plain.
The bayonets' gleam was the gleam of gold,
Where the sunlight poured on the height and the wold,
And the fields of yellow grain.
Then the soldier arose, when his rest was done,
And he merrily sang in his joyous glee
He sharpened his sword and he brightened his gun,
And he smiled, as he thought of the laurels won,
That yet on his brow would be.
The couriers rode when the noontide came,
And told of grim lines advancing fast,
So the camp was filled with a wild acclaim,
And the soldier's heart was kindled with flame
As the hurrying squadron passed.
But the glen full soon was the place of blood,
With the hissing of shot and the clang of steel
And men lay dabbled and stained in the wood,
Though the soldier's comrades in valor stood
Till they made the foemen reel.
When the night came down the corses were strewn,
And the soft dews fell on the face of the dead;
But the soldier's song had changed to a moan,
As, faint and pale, where the sad moon shone,
He lay with his bleeding head.
'Tis morning again on the tents and the spears,
But the soldier's voice is for ever still;
There's a form that's missed from the cavaliers,
There's a sweet face blurred with bitter tears--
There's a nameless grave on the hill.
Camp Chase, Ohio, October, 1864.