THE BIVOUAC OF THE DEAD
"THE BIVOUAC OF THE DEAD"
By Theodore O'Hara
The muffled drums sad roll has beat
The soldier's last Tattoo;
No more on life's parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On fame's eternal camping ground
Their silent tents are spread,
But glory guards, with solumn round,
The bivouac of the dead.
No rumor of the foe's advance
Now swells upon the wind;
No troubled thought at midnight haunts
Of loved one's left behind;
No vision of tomorrow,s strife
The warrior's dream alarms;
No braying horn nor screaming fife,
At dawn shall call to arms.
Their shivered swords are red with rust,
Their plumed heads are bowed;
Their haughty banner, trailed in dust,
Is now their martial shroud.
And plenteous funeral tears have washed
The red stains from each brow;
And the proud forms, by battle gashed,
Are free from anguish now.
The neighing troop, the flashing blade,
The bugle's stirring blast,
The charge, the dreadful cannonade,
The din and shouts are past;
Nor war's wild note, nor glory's peal,
Shall thrill with fierce delight
Those breasts that never more may feel
The rapture of the fight.
Rest on, embalmed and sainted dead,
Dear as the blood you gave,
No impious footstep here shall tread
The heritage of your grave;
Nor shall your glory be forgot
While fame her record keeps,
Or honor points the hallowed spot
Where valor proudly sleeps.
Yon marble minstrel's voiceless stone
In deathless song shall tell
When many a vanquished age hath flown,
The story how ye fell;
Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter's blight,
Nor time's remorseless doom,
Shall dim one ray of glory's light
That gilds your deathless tomb.
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