BLACK CAT POEMS
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The Soldier's Funeral
Anne S. Bushby
Heard ye the sound of the muffled drum
And the trumpet's mournful blast?
They tell that the soldier's time has come,
His dreams of glory past!
Saw ye yon bier, on whose sable pall
A sword and helmet rest?
No more by that helm at bugle-call
Shall the soldier's brow be prest.
Saw ye yon noble war-horse led
The funeral rites to grace?
Dark plumes are waving o'er his head,
And he walks with measured pace.
Oh, never more shall the soldier guide
His gallant steed again.
Nor mingle more in youthful pride
'Midst yonder glittering train.
Slowly, with arms reversed, they tread
As they follow to the grave
Him who, now number'd with the dead,
Was the bravest of the brave.
Heard ye yon musket's echoing peal?
'Tis the soldier's last farewell!
But he cannot now its sadness feel,
Bound down by death's dark spell.
They turn again--yon martial train--
From the soldier's lowly tomb;
While the shrill fife gives some joyous strain
To chase the churchyard's gloom.
They are gone! and in his earthly bed
Is he left unwept, alone?
Lingers no mourner near the dead,
O'er the beloved to moan?
Oh! saw ye not yon hooded pair,
In mourning garments clad?
And mark'd ye not their grief-worn air?
are not sad?
The mother weeps her darling son,
Her hope, her joy, her pride!
He was the widow's
For him she would have died.
Her thin grey hair neglected strays
Across her aged brow,
While, kneeling on the grave, she prays
O'er him who fills it now.
Though tearful is that sunken eye,
Yet holy peace is there;
For she trusts with him above the sky
Soon a heavenly home to share.
Her pilgrimage is nearly past,
Her every earthly woe;
Like the ancient tree that falls at last
When wintry tempests blow.
But the young mourner at her side--
Her frame convulsed with grief--
Oh! how shall she long years abide?
What yield her heart relief?
For he to whom that heart was bound
With love's devoted ties,
Lost, lost to her, beneath the ground
In the dark coffin lies.
And she is left all desolate
To tread life's weary way;
What marvel she repines at fate,
And dares for death to pray?
What marvel that she wildly cries
For the grave its prey to yield?
Oh! what avail are tears or sighs?
His earthly doom is seal'd.
Seal'd, till the last deep trumpet shake
All earth with its awful sound;
Then shall the dead, arousing, wake,
While nature sinks around!
poems by Anne S. Bushby