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91. down by the Rapidan.

How, like a dream of childhood, the sweet May-day goes by!
A golden brightness gilds the air, a rose-flush paints the sky;
And the southern winds come bearing in their freights of rare perfume
From the far-off country valleys, where the spring flowers are in bloom.

[72] We sit beneath the windows and watch the evening sun,
And count the silver rain-drops, descending one by one.
The very town seems silenced in a soft, delicious calm.
How different is the scene to-night down by the Rapidan!

Down by the rushing Rapidan, hark! how the muskets crack!
The battle-smoke rolls up so thick, the very heavens are black.
No blossom-scented winds are there, no drops of silver rain;
The air is thick with sulphurous heat, and filled with moans of pain.

Oh! let us not forget them-our brave, unselfish boys--
Who have given up their loved ones, their happy household joys,
And stand to-night in rank and file, determined to a man,
To triumph over treason, down by the Rapidan!

And let our hearts be hopeful; our faith, unwavering, strong;
Right must be all-victorious when battling with the Wrong.
Let us bear up our heroes' hands! Pray, every soul that can,
“God bless our boys who fight to-night down by the Rapidan!”

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