[for Southern Historical Society Papers.]
The bugle call.Blue Lick Springs, Kentucky, July----, 1882.
I.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.
II.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.
III.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.
IV.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.
V.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.
VI.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.
VII.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.