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Page 274 of From old fields : poems of the Civil War / by Nathaniel Southgate Shaler.

274 UNDER THE BANNER We see just here that Johnny lost the range For twenty seconds -that the best will do: When Satan on you comes, the steadiest Have eyes that blink the sights and fingers thumbs, In the nice business of laying gun. But here is plenty : see, so quickly strewn That for broad acres of this trampled corn You must step warily, or else you '11 tread Upon some bit that once knew it a man, That squirms beneath your feet unpleasantly. Now for some furlongs' breadth they lie so close They 'd serve as stepping-stones across a stream Wide as the Mississippi at its flood. You see that here the muskets did their work Great guns are but as toys until the charge Is on their mouths, and double canister As a tornado sweeps the host in air. The most are still, but here and there one writhes To free him from the dead that bear him down, So he have chance to draw at least the breath That sends him to the spaces. You would help To lift his burthens from him Nay, good man, 'T is but a drop you 'd save from this wide sea. He 'II find the way out sooner if he lies There as he fell. Yea, even now he goes To join his brethren. And here lies a lad In Johnny's ragged grey: a shapely boy, Scarce half-way through his teens. See in his hand A letter clutched still - 't was his last thought

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