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English Poetry. Edmund Clarence Stedman. Custer. Эдмунд Кларенс Стедман.






Edmund Clarence Stedman (Эдмунд Кларенс Стедман)

Custer

⁠What! shall that sudden blade
⁠Leap out no more?
⁠No more thy hand be laid
⁠Upon the sword-hilt, smiting sore?
⁠O for another such
⁠The charger's rein to clutch,—
⁠One equal voice to summon victory,
⁠Sounding thy battle-cry,
⁠Brave darling of the soldiers' choice!
⁠Would there were one more voice!

⁠O gallant charge, too bold!
⁠O fierce, imperious greed
To pierce the clouds that in their darkness hold
⁠Slaughter of man and steed!
⁠Now, stark and cold,
⁠Among thy fallen braves thou liest,
⁠And even with thy blood defiest
⁠The wolfish foe:
⁠But ah, thou liest low,
⁠And all our birthday song is hushed indeed!

⁠Young lion of the plain,
⁠Thou of the tawny mane!
⁠Hotly the soldiers' heart shall beat,
⁠Their mouths thy death repeat,
⁠Their vengeance seek the trail again
⁠Where thy red doomsmen be;
⁠But on the charge no more shall stream
⁠Thy hair,—no more thy sabre gleam,—
⁠No more ring out thy battle-shout,
⁠Thy cry of victory!

⁠Not when a hero falls
⁠The sound a world appalls:
⁠For while we plant his cross
⁠There is a glory, even in the loss:
⁠But when some craven heart
⁠From honor dares to part,
⁠Then, then, the groan, the blanching cheek,
⁠And men in whispers speak,
⁠Nor kith nor country dare reclaim
⁠From the black depths his name.

⁠Thou, wild young warrior, rest,
⁠By all the prairie winds caressed!
⁠Swift was thy dying pang;
⁠Even as the war-cry rang
⁠Thy deathless spirit mounted high
⁠And sought Columbia's sky:—
⁠There, to the northward far,
⁠Shines a new star,
⁠And from it blazes down
⁠The light of thy renown! 

July 10, 1876

Edmund Clarence Stedman’s other poems:

  1. Sumter
  2. Fuit Ilium
  3. Israel Freyer’s Bid for Gold
  4. The Diamond Wedding
  5. The Lord’s-Day Gale




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