And so begins the fight,
(God knows how it may end!)
But we strive for the right,
(May God the right defend!)
For country and for home,
For freedom and for truth,
And freely to that cause we give the sturdy strength of youth,
And freely in that cause we shed the blood that makes it strong,
While we march to death and glory to the drum's inspiring song.
Again, all is still.
On the side of the hill
Lies silent the camp in the shadow of night,
The soldiers are sleeping;
The sentinel walks in the moon's silver light,
His silent watch keeping.
Hark! What is that? 'tis a step. "Who goes there?"
No answer—black forms swiftly darken the air!
The enemy comes! awake! AWAKE!
How terrible are the alarms that break
On the ear of the sleeper, and call him for war!
Hear the roll—hear the call—hear the hurried command,
Not a breath—still as death—the regiments stand.
Forward ! Advance and attack! Where? There!
See the dark forms through the dew-laden air!
Cannons roar — bullets pour — squadrons march,
Battalions — companies — regiments, charge!
And all the red front of the terrible fight
Glows like the conflict of demons at night.
Still, hearts are but human,
Man, born of woman,
Seeing his brother fall, all his flesh creeps,
Seeing unheeded fresh wounds all bleeding,
Sick of the sight of war, shudders and weeps.