Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/347

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
The Gallant Pelham.

Gentlest and bravest in the battle's brunt—
The champion of the Truth—
He bore his banner to the very front
Of our immortal youth.

A clang of sabres 'mid Virginia's snow,
The fiery pang of shells—
And there's a voice of immemorial woe
In Alabama dells.

The pennon droops, that led the sacred band
Along the crimson field;
The meteor blade sinks from the nerveless hand,
Over the spotless shield!

We gazed and gazed upon that beauteous face,
While round the lips and eyes,
Couched in their marble slumber flashed the grace
Of a divine surprise!

Oh! mother of a blessed soul on high,
Thy tears may soon be shed;
Think of thy boy, 'mid princes of the sky,
Among the Southern dead.

How must he smile on this dull world beneath,
Fevered with swift renown—
He, with the martyr's amaranthine wreath
Twining the victor's crown!

N. B.—This is the original version from Randall's manuscript.—T. C. D.

No one can be accused justly of raking amid the ashes of the past to rekindle the fires of sectional prejudice when he undertakes to briefly sketch one of the many brilliant careers during the late war that illustrate the valor of the American soldier on a hundred battlefields, especially when that career is all too little known, says the Louisville Courier-Journal. In Alabama, in the vale of Alexandria, September 7, in the year 1838, there was born a babe destined to be Bellona's bridegroom, and write "John Pelham" across the sky in flaming letters of battle. His was a superb career, but for some reason or other it is scarcely known outside of his native State, and