Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CARMEN BELLICOSUM, by GUY HUMPHREYS MCMASTER



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CARMEN BELLICOSUM, by            
First Line: In their ragged regimentals
Last Line: Hurling death!
Variant Title(s): The Old Continentals
Subject(s): American Revolution; Brandywine Creek, Battle Of (1777); Patriotism; War


IN their ragged regimentals
Stood the old Continentals,
Yielding not,
When the grenadiers were lunging,
And like hail fell the plunging
Cannon-shot;
When the files
Of the isles,
From the smoky night encampment, bore the ban-
ner of the rampant
Unicorn,
And grummer, grummer, grummer rolled the roll
of the drummer,
Through the morn!

Then with eyes to the front all
And with guns horizontal,
Stood our sires;
And the bails whistled deadly,
And in streams flashing redly
Blazed the fires;
As the roar
On the shore,
ept the strong battle-breakers o'er the green-
sodded acres
Of the plain;
d Louder, louder, louder, cracked the black gun-
powder,
Cracking amain!

Now like smiths at their forges
Worked the red St. George's
Cannoneers;
And the "villanous saltpetre"
Rung a fierce, discordant metre
Round their ears;
As the swift
Storm-drift,
th hot sweeping anger, came the horseguards'
clangor
On our flanks;
en higher, higher, higher, burned the old
fashioned fire
Through the ranks!

Then the bare-headed colonel
Galloped through the white infernal
Powder-cloud;
And his broad sword was swinging
And his brazen throat was ringing
Trumpet-loud.
Then the blue
Bullets flew,
d the trooper-jackets redden at the touch of the
leaden
Rifle-breath;
And rounder, rounder, rounder, roared the iron
six-pounder,
Hurling death!




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