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60. the tattered flags. February 22, 1864.

Stirring music thrilled the air,
Brilliant banners fluttered there,
Pealed the bells and rolled the drum,
And the people cried “They come!”
On they came with measured tramp--
Heroes proved in field and camp.
Banners waved more proudly then;
Cheered the children, cheered the men;
Beauty, lover of the brave,
Brilghtened with the smiles she gave;
While the sun, in golden jots,
Flowed along the bay. nets,
As upon each laurel croan
Hetaven had poured a blessing down.
All was stirring. grand, and gay,
But the pageant parssend away
When, with proudly and filling eye,
I saw the tattered flags go by!

Fancy then might faintly hear
Hosts advancing, battle chcer,
Sightless bullets whiz along--
Fit refrain for battle-song;
Cannon, with their sulphurous breath,
Hurling messages of death;
Whirring shot and screaming shell
Fluttering where ill wrath they fell,
Opening graves — while purple rills
Scar the fields and streak the bills.
See the serried columns press--
Bold, defiant, merciless--
On the long and slender line
Where the starry.banners shine;
With demoniac yells they come,
Fiercely drive their bayonets home,
And the arching heavens resound--
God! our men are giving ground!
Shouts, and cries of wild despair,
Mingle in the murky air.

[51] Now they rally! And our foes
Reel before their vengeful blows,
While the wounded pause to cheer
As they stagger to the rear,
And the dying catch the sound,
Clutch their weapons from the ground,
Struggle up ere life be gone,
Smile, and wave their comrades on,
Falling with a joyful cry
As the dear tattered flags go by!

Philadelphia, March, 1864.

E. H. M.

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