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The American Bivouac on the Banks of the Rio Grande.


By G. W. Patten, U. S. A.

A song went up at close of day
On the shining lands where the gold mines lay:
Strangely the while 'mid citrons ripe,
Preened the flag of the stars and stripe.
There were foreign, bands in the sunset light,
Being at their ease by their falchions bright,
They lifted their head's the vines among
The thrilling sounds of their native tongue.

'Tis glorious — Oh! 'tis glorious,
(Glad voices swelled the lay,)
The flags amid the citron trees!
And the trumps that wakes the day!
The lances bathed in liquid light —
And the steeds that sweep the plain —
Tis glorious — Oh! 'tis glorious!
On! to the charge again.

'Tis lonely — Oh! 'tis lonely!
(A voice desponding sighed,)
That we should leave the peaceful hearth
For the battle's storming tide;
That we should change for language strange,
Fond words we understand —
Oh! 'tis Lonely! — Oh 'tis lonely —
This march through foreign land.

'Tis glorious — Oh 'tis glorious!
(Rang the exulting cry,)


To mark the floating of the stripes
Amid the battle sky;
Beside the eagle glittering crest,
To watch its proud career,
And with an arm ABOVE the rest
To strike 'mid shout and cheer.

'Tis lonely — Oh! 'tis lonely!
(Still sighed that yearning heart,)
All day we hear the roll that tells
How human hopes depart;
Lo! cross his hands upon the breast,
Which beat like YOURS for fame;
And bear him to his place of rest
A grave without a name.

And the song was hushed on the evening bells
An the day grew dim through the plantain
And the brows that were lit by the sunset
On their palm leaf pillows drooped down in [unknown]
Some to recall their native sky,
Some to dream of VICTORY.