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2. the fight at Sumter.


'Twas a wonderful brave fight!
Through the day and all night,
March! Halt! Left! Right!
So they formed:
And one thousand to ten,
The bold Palmetto men
Sumter stormed.


The smoke in a cloud
Closed her in like a shroud,
While the cannon roared aloud
From the Port;
And the red cannon-balls
Ploughed the gray granite walls
Of the Fort.


Sumter's gunners at their places,
With their gunpowdered faces,
Shook their shoulders from their braces,
And stripped
Stark and white to the waist,
Just to give the foe a taste,
And be whipped.


In the town β€” through every street,
Tramp, tramp, went the feet,
For they said the Federal fleet
Hove in sight;
And down the wharves they ran,
Every woman, child, and man,
To the fight.


On the fort the old flag waved,
And the barking batteries braved,
While the bold seven thousand raved
As they fought;
For each blinding sheet of flame
From her cannon, thundered shame!--
So they thought.


And strange enough to tell,
Though the gunners fired well,
And the balls ploughed red as hell
Through the dirt;
Though the shells burst and scattered,
And the fortress walls were shattered--
None were hurt.


But the fort β€” so hot she grew,
As the cannon-balls flew,
That each man began to stew
At his gun;
They were not afraid to die,
But this making Patriot. pie
Was not fun.


So, to make the story short,
The traitors got the fort
After thirty hours sport
With the balls;
But the victory is not theirs,
Though their brazen banner flares
From the walls.


It were better they should dare
The lion in his lair,
Or defy the grizzly bear
In his den,
Than to wake the fearful cry
That is raising up on high
From our men.


To our banner we are clinging,
And a song we are singing
Whose chorus is ringing
From each mouth;
'Tis β€œThe old Constitution
And a stern retribution
To the South.”

--Vanity Fair, April 27.

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