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The last words of Major Wheat.

by H.
“Bury me on the field, boys!” and away to the glorious fight;
You will come this way again, boys, in your triumph march to-night,
But when you pass this spot, boys, I would not have you sigh—
In holy cause of country, boys, who would not gladly die?

[60] “Bury me on the field, boys,” where a soldier loves to rest,
And sweet shall be my sleep, boys, upon my country's breast;
For she is dearer far, boys, than aught this world can give,
And gladly do I die, boys, that she may proudly live.

“Bury me on the field, boys,” and away to meet the foe;
Hands that have dug a grave, boys, shall lay their legions low;
Eyes that wept this morn, boys, shall smile at close of day,
For Southern hearts shall triumph, boys, in the Northerner's dismay.

“Bury me on the field, boys,” and then to make a stand,
Which will lose the tyrant's grip, boys, from our Southern sunny land,
And teach the invading foe, boys, in Freedom's holy strife,
The Southern heart will sever, boys, the fondest ties of life.

“Bury me on the field, boys,” I do not die in vain;
For Freedom's rose shall spring, boys, from out this bloody rain,
And soon the South shall rise, boys, all beautiful and fair,
With sun-light rays around her, boys, and stars upon her hair.

“Bury me on the field, boys,” this vision bright and sweet
Was surely sent to cheer me, boys, in this my own defeat;
There, take my trembling hand, boys, I thank you for your care,
But let each soldier's heart, boys, ascend with mine in prayer.

From the battlefield of life, boys, all wretched, weary, sore,
Pray that my fainting soul, boys, may reach the heavenly shore,
And in that land of love, boys, the weary may find rest,
And the poor, repentant soldier, boys, find shelter 'mong the blest.

“Bury me on the field, boys,” my life is ebbing fast;
One moment more of pain, boys, and then the trial's past;
I cannot see you now, boys, there's a mist before my sight;
But hark! I hear sweet music, boys: thank God! we've won the fight.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori;
but sweeter far, and still more becoming, my son, to die, as thou didst, in the faith of Christ, the hope of heaven, and in charity with all the world.

J. T. W.

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