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27. old Rosy.

When Rosy rode along the line,
Right well we knew our hero's sign;
For there we stood like wolves at bay,
And fought the rebels hard all day.
Still on they came; still back we drove
In fury low and cloud above;
But now they pressed us two to one--
Our line fell back — the front was gone--
We almost wept to see the rout:
“Stand fast! stand fast! and see it out!”
Our leader shouted. Oh! the shout,
As Rosy rode along the line.

As quickening vengeance draws its breath
To leap to the embrace of death,
Awhile they paused, then all aflame,
On, on the hounding rebels came.
“Stand by the flag!” our chieftain cried;
Like rooted oaks our columns bide;
But tide on tide the flood o'erflowed,
The broken line fell back the road.
“Hurrah!” we heard the foeman cry--
Yet stood our chief, not ours to fly;
But blazed the tiger in his eye
As Rosy rode along the line.

Where now within the battle-blast
Our ragged standards fluttered fast,
A cheer broke in, and then the drum--
“The Hawkeyes, Buckeyes, Hoosiers come!”
We stood to win, nor thought to stir,
Each man an executioner;
Heard o'er the hills in gathering gloom
The deep gun's last despairing boom-- [22]
Then ranged our cannons to the breach
With haughty purpose, each to each,
And silent still we stood for speech,
Till Rosy rode along the line.

Uprose our gunners, grim and bare,
To light the torch of victory there!
Now close the charging foemen surge,
To mock the awful lightning's verge;
Down to the front our leader darts--
“Aim low! aim low! my flinty hearts!”
And soon about the colors true
Our drummer beats his wild tattoo!
Then but to see the chieftain's look;
The word he gave — that word we took--
“Give them a blizzard!” Lord, it shook!
As Rosy rode along the line.

Back rolled the flood, and in its track
We drove their quailing legions back;
As horse and foot we followed on,
With bloody cost the day was won!
Then homeward Rosy took his course,
Our wounded drummer on his horse;
“Well done!” said he; “well done, brave men,
Please God, we'll do as well again.”
Then marched we in with three times three
For Murfreesboro, the victory.
Ah! 'twas a sight for men to see,
When Rosy rode along the line.

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