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[29]
     Red as blood, o'er the town,
The angry sun went down,
     Firing flag-staff and vane--
And our eagle — as for him,
     There, all ruffled and grim,
He sat, o'erlooking the slain!

Next morning, you'd have wondered
     How we had to drive the spade!
There, in great trenches and holes,
     (Ah! God rest their poor souls!)
We piled some fifteen hundred,
     Where that last charge was made!

Sad enough, I must say.
     No mother to mourn and search,
No priest to bless or to pray--
     We buried them where they lay,
Without a rite of the church--
     But our eagle, all that day,
Stood solemn and still on his perch.

'Tis many a stormy day
     Since, out of the cold, bleak North,
Our Great War Eagle sailed forth
     To swoop o'er battle and fray.
Many and many a day
     O'er charge and storm hath he wheeled--
Foray and foughten-field--
     Tramp, and volley, and rattle!--
Over crimson trench and turf,
     Over climbing clouds of surf,
Through tempest and cannon-rack,
     Have his terrible pinions whirled--
(A thousand fields of battle!
     A million leagues of foam!)
But our Bird shall yet come back,
     He shall soar to his eyrie-home--
And his thunderous wings be furled,
     In the gaze of a gladdened world,
On the Nation's loftiest Dome.

H. H. B. December, 1862.

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