previous next

[for Southern Historical Society Papers.]

The bugle call.

By Mrs. Sally Neil Roach.
Commemorative of the Reunion of the “Orphan brigade” at Blue Lick Springs, Kentucky, July----, 1882.


Through the woodland loud 'tis heard,
     Float the echoes soft and low,
Rising now like song of bird,
     Rippling like the streamlet's flow.
Heroes hear the well known call--
     Bright eyes flash with martial flame,
Forms erect, in line they fall,
     Gathering whence the summons came.


No battle-flag is waved in air,
     Is spoken nought of stern command--
No sword to lead them flashes bare,
     No weapon gleams from steady hand.
Kentucky's sons — brave men who bore
     Unsullied name through scathing fire,
Till, bullet-riddled, stained with gore,
     Their deeds through years will songs inspire.


They gather now — the war task done--
     To hallow memories of those years,
To tell of battles fought and won,
     To tell of hardships, aye, and tears.
They gather now — behind them floats
     The bivouac life like shadows dim,
And memory scans the years and notes,
     Here battle charge, there, funeral hymn.


Hark! the roll-call! Rank by rank,
     As in that well remembered time.
Mid few responses, many a blank
     Is left where answered echo's chime.
And eyes are dimmed as honored name
     Of comrade loved is spoken low.
Ah! dearer than the wreath of fame,
     The requiem hearts of friends bestow.



And here and there, some tattered shred
     Of war-worn battle flag is shown,
And touched with awe — for roll of dead
     Has linked its name with glory's own.
Again it waves where cannons roar
     On Chickamauga's hard fought ground;
Or where Stone River's waters pour,
     And blood and stream are mingling found.


Kentucky's sons I Your dead lists bear
     Of noble worth, full many a name
Whose honor is Kentucky's care,
     Whose memories highest place may claim.
Helm, Hanson, Breckenridge — entwines
     A people's love these names among;
As sacred places, be their shrines,
     In words that ring their deeds be sung.


Nor yet to living less. Brave band,
     Regathered at this Bugle Call,
Know this — as comrade's hand grasped hand,
     In pride Kentucky greeted all.
Reunion sweet I No trace of strife,
     Save only shadows softened down,
Whence, lessons learned, enrich each life,
     Till, warfare o'er, each wears a crown.

sally Neil Roach. July 31st, 1882.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Sally Neil Roach (1)
Sallie Neill Roach (1)
Helm (1)
Hanson (1)
Breckenridge (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
July 31st, 1882 AD (1)
1882 AD (1)
July (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: