Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/229

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
223
The Broken Mug.

Relic, it was, of joyous hours.

Whose golden memories still allure —

When coffee made of rye we drank,

And gray was all the dress we wore;

When we were paid some cents a month.

But never asked for more!

In marches long, by day and night,

In raids, hot charges, shocks of war,

Strapped on the saddle at my back

This faithful comrade still I bore—
This old companion, true and tried
I'll never carry more!

Bright days, when young in heart and hope

The pulse leaped at the words "La Gloire!"
When the gray people cried, "hot fight!
Why we have one to four!"

When but to see the foeman's face

Was all they asked—no more.

From the Rapidan to Gettysburg —

"Hard bread " behind, "sour krout" before—

This friend went with the cavalry

And heard the jarring cannon roar
In front of Cemetery Hill—
Good heavens! how they did roar!

Then back again, the foe behind,

Back to the "Old Virginia shore"—

Some dead and wounded left—some holes

In flags the sullen graybacks bore;
This mug had made the great campaign.
And we'd have gone once more!

Alas! we never went again!

The red cross banner, slow but sure,

"Fell back"—we bade to sour krout

(Like the lover of Lenore)
A long, sad, lingering farewell—
To taste its joys no more.

But still we fought, and ate hard bread.

Or starved—good friend our woes deplore!

And still this faithful friend remained

Riding behind me as before—
The friend on march, in bivouac,
When others were no more.