Supposed to be written by General John Morgan, on surveying his solitary abode in his cell, in the Ohio Penitentiary at Columbus.I am monarch of all I survey,
My right there is none to dispute;
Naked walls, a stone floor, a tin tray,
Iron spoon, checkered pants and clean suit.
I am out of Jeff Davis's reach,
I must finish my journey in stone,
Never hear a big secession speech--
I start at the sound of my own.
O solitude! strange are the fancies
Of those who see charms in thy face;
Better dwell in the midst of the Yankees,
Than reign in this horrible place.
Ye steeds that have made me your sport,
Convey to this desolate cell
Some cordial, endearing report
Of the thefts I have practised so well.
Horse-stealing, bridge-burning, and fight,
Divinely bestowed upon man;
Oh! had I the wings of a kite,
How soon would I taste you again!
My sorrows I then might assuage
In the work of destruction and raiding;
Might laugh at the wisdom of age,
Nor feel the least pang of upbraiding.
Rebellion! what music untold
Resides in that heavenly word!
It helps me to silver and gold,
And all that the earth can afford.
But the sweet sound of burning and plunder
These prison-walls never yet heard,
Never echoed the chivalry's thunder,
Nor mocked at the Union's grand bird.
How fleet is a glance of the mind
Compared with the speed of my flight;
But Shackelford came up behind,
So I found 'twas no use to fight.
The Buckeyes that gave me a race,
My form with indifference see;
They are so light of foot on the chase,
Their coolness is shocking to me.
When I think of my dear native land,
I confess that I wish I was there;
Confound these hard stone walls at hand,
And my bald pate, all shaven of hair.
My friends, do they now and then send
A wish or a thought after me?
Like Burbeck, that quick-coming friend?
For a friend in need truly was he.
But the sea-fowl is gone to her rest,
The beast is laid down in his lair;
Yet not like John Morgan unblest,
As I to my straw bed repair.