Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOW ARE YOU, SANITARY?', by FRANCIS BRET HARTE



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HOW ARE YOU, SANITARY?', by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Down the picket-guarded lane
Last Line: "pass in, sanitary!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Harte, Bret
Subject(s): American Civil War; Holidays; Memorial Day; Patriotism; United States - History; Declaration Day


DOWN the picket-guarded lane,
Rolled the comfort-laden wain,
Cheered by shouts that shook the plain,
Soldier-like and merry:
Phrases such as camps may teach,
Sabre-cuts of Saxon speech,
Such as "Bully!" "Them's the peach!"
"Wade in, Sanitary!"

Right and left the caissons drew,
As the car went lumbering through,
Quick succeeding in review
Squadrons military;
Sunburnt men with beards like frieze,
Smooth-faced boys, and cries like these, --
"U. S. San. Com." "That's the cheese!"
"Pass in, Sanitary!"

In such cheer it struggled on
Till the battle front was won,
Then the car, its journey done,
Lo! was stationary;
And where bullets whistling fly,
Came the sadder, fainter cry,
"Help us, brothers, ere we die, --
Save us, Sanitary!"

Such the work. The phantom flies,
Wrapped in battle clouds that rise;
But the brave -- whose dying eyes,
Veiled and visionary,
See the jasper gates swung wide,
See the parted throng outside --
Hears the voice to those who ride:
"Pass in, Sanitary!"





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