Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/22

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She asked for men ; and up he spoke, my handsome, hearty Sam,—
"I'll die for the dear old Union, if she'll take me as I am."
And if a better man than he there's mother that can show,
From Maine to Minnesota, then let the nation know.

You would not pick him from the rest by eagles or by stars,
By straps upon his coat-sleeve, or gold or silver bars,
Nor a corporal's strip of worsted; but there's something in his face,
And something in his even step, a-marching in his place,—

That couldn't be improved by all the badges in the land:
A patriot, and a good, strong man; are generals much more grand?
We rest our pride on that big heart, wrapt up in army blue,
The girl he loves, Mehitabel, and I, who love him too.

He's never shirked a battle yet, though frightful risks he's run,
Since treason flooded Baltimore, the spring of sixty-one;
Through blood and storm he's held out firm, nor fretted once, my Sam,
At swamps of Chickahominy, or fields of Antietam.

Though many a time he's told us, when he saw them lying dead,
The boys that came from Newbury port, and Lynn, and Marblehead,
Stretched out upon the trampled turf, and wept on by the sky,
It seemed to him the Commonwealth had drained her life-blood dry.

"But then," he said, "the more's the need the country has of me:
To live and fight the war all through, what glory it will be!
The Rebel balls don't hit me; and, mother, if they should,
You'll know I've fallen in my place, where I have always stood."