Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SONG OF SHERMAN'S ARMY, by CHARLES GRAHAM HALPINE



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THE SONG OF SHERMAN'S ARMY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A pillar of fire by night
Last Line: For sherman and grant, hurrah!
Alternate Author Name(s): O'reilly, Miles
Subject(s): American Civil War; Georgia (state); Sherman, William Tecumseh (1820-1891); United States - History


A PILLAR of fire by night,
A pillar of smoke by day,
Some hours of march -- then a halt to fight,
And so we hold our way;
Some hours of march -- then a halt to fight,
As on we hold our way.

Over mountain and plain and stream,
To some bright Atlantic bay,
With our arms aflash in the morning beam,
We hold our festal way;
With our arms aflash in the morning beam,
We hold our checkless way!

There is terror wherever we come,
There is terror and wild dismay
When they see the Old Flag and hear the drum
Announce us on our way;
When they see the Old Flag and hear the drum
Beating time to our onward way.

Never unlimber a gun
For those villainous lines in gray;
Draw sabres! and at 'em upon the run!
'T is thus we clear our way;
Draw sabres, and soon you will see them run,
As we hold our conquering way.

The loyal, who long have been dumb,
Are loud in their cheers to-day;
And the old men out on their crutches come,
To see us hold our way;
And the old men out on their crutches come,
To bless us on our way.

Around us in rear and flanks,
Their futile squadrons play,
With a sixty-mile front of steady ranks,
We hold our checkless way;
With a sixty-mile front of serried ranks,
Our banner clears the way.

Hear the spattering fire that starts
From the woods and the copses gray,
There is just enough fighting to quicken our hearts,
As we frolic along the way!

There is just enough fighting to warm our hearts,
As we rattle along the way.

Upon different roads, abreast,
The heads of our columns gay,
With fluttering flags, all forward pressed,
Hold on their conquering way;
With fluttering flags to victory pressed,
We hold our glorious way.

Ah, traitors! who bragged so bold
In the sad war's early day,
Did nothing predict you should ever behold
The Old Flag come this way?
Did nothing predict you should yet behold
Our banner come back this way?

By heaven! 't is a gala march,
'T is a picnic or a play;
Of all our long war 't is the crowning arch,
Hip, hip! for Sherman's way!
Of all our long war this crowns the arch --
For Sherman and Grant, hurrah!





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