Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/143

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"'If thine enemy hunger, feed him!'
I obey, clear Christ," she said.
A creeping blush, with its scarlet flush,
O'er the face of the soldier spread.

He rose. "You have said it, madame!
Standing within your doors
Is the rebel foe; but as forth they go
They shall trouble not you nor yours!"

Alas for the word of the leader!
Alas for the soldier's vow!
When the captain's men rode down the glen,
They drove the widow's cow.

It was then the fearless Jamie
Sprang up with flashing eyes,
And in spite of tears and his mother's fears,
On the gray mare off he flies.

Like a wild young Tam O'Shanter
He plunged with piercing whoop,
O'er field and brook, till he overtook
The straggling rebel troop,—

Laden with spoil and plunder,
And laughing and shouting still,
As with cattle and sheep they lazily creep
Through the dust o'er the winding hill.

"Oh the coward crowd!" cried Jamie.
"There's Brindle! I'll teach them now!"
And with headlong stride, at the captain's side,
He called for his mother's cow.

"Who are you, and who is your mother?
I promised she should not miss?
Well! upon my word, have I never heard
Of assurance like to this!"

"Is your word the word of a soldier?"
And the young lad faced his foes,
As a jeering laugh, in anger half
And half in sport, arose.