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The Southern soldier boy.

by Rev. A. J. Ryan.
Young as the youngest who donned the gray,
     True as the truest that wore it--
Brave as the bravest, he marched away,
     (Hot tears on the cheeks of his mother lay,)
Triumphant waved our flag one day,
     He fell in the front before it.

Firm as the firmest, where duty led,
     He hurried without a falter;
Bold as the boldest, he fought and bled,
     And the day was won-but the field was red,
And the blood of his fresh young heart was shed
     On his country's hallowed altar.

On the trampled breast of the battle plain,
     Where the foremost ranks had wrestled,
On his pale, pure face, not a mark of pain,
     (His mother dreams they will meet again,)
The fairest form amid all the slain,
     Like a child asleep-he nestled.

In the solemn shades of the woods that swept
     The field where his comrades found him,
They buried him there-and the hot tears crept
     Into strong men's eyes that had seldom wept,
(His mother-God pity her-smiled and slept,
     Dreaming her arms were around him.)

A grave in the woods with the grass o'ergrown,
     A grave in the heart of his mother--
His clay in the one lies lifeless and lone:
     There is not a name, there is not a stone--
And only the voice of the wind maketh moan
     O'er the grave where never a flower is strewn,
But his memory lives in the other.

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