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[356]

V.

Her cause was their's and Freedom's. For such cause
     Men have died gladly since that ancient day
When the Three Hundred gave a Myriad pause
     For Grecian freedom at Thermopylae;
These drew the Spartan sword;
     These knew the Spartan word:
“With it, or on it!” These the Spartan spirit stirred.

VI.

On the most glowing page of human story
     Are writ in lines of light their deathless names.
Our heritage is their eternal glory;
     Their record of undying deeds is Fame's:
The immemorial roll
     Of her resplendent scroll
Their honor and their valor shall extol.

VII.

O'er that first field, made red with their first blood,
     Rang through the tumult as a bugle-call
His kingly voice, who royally bestowed
     On Jackson's soldiers ‘standing like a wall’
The battle-accolade,
     Knighting the great Brigade
And him who at its head had drawn his sword and prayed.

VIII.

Booted and spurred, his troopers riding ever
     Ready for the fierce fray, entwined around
His brows the laurel leaves that made forever
     Thenceforth the name of Stuart glory-crowned:
They followed where he led
     They conquered where he bled;
Gladly had each one died in the lost leader's stead.

IX.

Can you not hear booming across the years
     The thunderous echoes of young Pelham's guns?
There went to war than her red cannoneers
     None higher-hearted of the South's true sons;
Whatever else betide,
     Down the dim years they ride
Who joyous rode to death as bridegroom to his bride.

X.

Beyond the vast of time we can descry
     In memory the white foam and the sweep
Of the great Ram, Virginia; and on high
     The Southern pennant fluttering o'er the deep;
And hear the sullen roar
     Of the grim guns she bore
Proclaiming Freedom's fight from listening shore to shore.


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