Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IN HOSPITAL: 21. ROMANCE, by WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY



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IN HOSPITAL: 21. ROMANCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Talk of pluck!' pursued the sailor
Last Line: "and they meant it too, by thunder!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Henley, W. E.
Subject(s): American Civil War; Charleston, South Carolina; Hospitals; United States - History


"TALK of pluck!" pursued the Sailor,
Set at euchre on his elbow,
"I was on the wharf at Charleston,
Just ashore from off the runner.

"It was gray and dirty weather,
And I heard a drum go rolling,
Rub-a-dubbing in the distance,
Awful dour-like and defiant.

"In and out among the cotton,
Mud, and chains, and stores, and anchors,
Tramped a squad of battered scarecrows --
Poor old Dixie's bottom dollar!

"Some had shoes, but all had rifles,
Them that was n't bald was beardless,
And the drum was rolling 'Dixie,'
And they stepped to it like men, sir!

"Rags and tatters, belts and bayonets,
On they swung, the drum a-rolling,
Mum and sour. It looked like fighting,
And they meant it too, by thunder!"





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