Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/111

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101
THE READING-CLUB.

And then the dusk and dew of night
Fell softly o'er the plain,
As though o'er man's dread work of death
The angels wept again,
And drew night's curtain gently round
A thousand beds of pain.

All night the surgeons' torches went
The ghastly rows between;
All night with solemn step I paced
The torn and bloody green:
But who that fought in the big war
Such dread sights has not seen?

At last the morning broke. The lark
Sang in the merry skies
As if to e'en the sleepers there
It bade, Wake, and arise!
Though naught but that last trump of all
Could ope their heavy eyes.

And then once more, with banners gay,
Stretched out the long brigade;
Trimly upon the furrowed field
The troops stood on parade,
And bravely 'mid the ranks were closed
The gaps the fight had made.

Not half the Twenty-second's men
Were in that place that morn,
And Corporal Dick, who yester-noon
Stood six brave fellows on,
Now touched my elbow in the ranks,
For all between were gone.

Ah! who forgets that dreary hour
When, as with misty eyes,
To call the old familiar roll
The solemn sergeant tries,
One feels that thumping of the heart
As no prompt voice replies?