Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/216
208 Southern Historical Society Papers.
THE SWORD OF ROBERT By ABRAM JOSEPH RYAN.
Forth from its scabbard, pure and bright
Flashed the sword of Lee! Far in the front of the deadly fight, High o'er the brave in the cause of Right Its stainless sheen, like a beacon light,
Led us to Victory.
Out of its scabbard, where, full long,
It slumbered peacefully, Roused from its rest by the battle's song, Shielding the feeble, smiting the strong, Guarding the right, avenging the wrong,
Gleamed the sword of Lee.
Forth from its scabbard, high in air
Beneath Virginia's sky And they who saw it gleaming there, And knew who bore it, knelt to swear That where that sword led they would dare,
To follow and to die.
Out of its scabbard! Never hand
Waved sword from stain as free, Or purer sword led braver band, Nor braver bled for a brighter land, Nor brighter land had a cause so grand, Nor cause a chief like Lee!
Forth from its scabbard! How we prayed
That sword might victor be; And when our triumph was delayed, And many a heart grew sore afraid, We still hoped on while gleamed the blade
Of noble Robert Lee.
Forth from its scabbard all in vain Bright flashed the sword of Lee;
'Tis shrouded now in its sheath again,
It sleeps the sleep of our noble slain,
Defeated, yet without a stain, Proudly and peacefully.