Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CIVIL WAR, by CHARLES DAWSON SHANLY



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

CIVIL WAR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Rifleman, shoot me a fancy shot
Last Line: "load again, rifleman, keep your hand in!"
Variant Title(s): The Fancy Shot
Subject(s): American Civil War; United States - History; War


"RIFLEMAN, shoot me a fancy shot
Straight at the heart of yon prowling vidette;
Ring me a ball in the glittering spot
That shines on his breast like an amulet!"

"Ah, captain! here goes for a fine-drawn bead,
There's music around when my barrel's in
tune!"
Crack! went the rifle, the messenger sped,
And dead from his horse fell the ringing dra-
goon.

"Now, rifleman, steal through the bushes, and
snatch
From your victim some trinket to handsel first
blood;
A button, a loop, or that luminous patch
That gleams in the moon like a diamond stud!"

"O captain! I staggered, and sunk on my track,
When I gazed on the face of that fallen vidette,
For he looked so like you, as he lay on his back,
That my heart rose upon me, and masters me
yet.

"But I snatched off the trinket, -- this locket of
gold;
An inch from the centre my lead broke its way,
Scarce grazing the picture, so fair to behold,
Of a beautiful lady in bridal array."

"Ha! rifleman, fling me the locket! -- 't is she,
My brother's young bride, and the fallen dra-
goon
Was her husband -- Hush! soldier, 't was Heav-
en's decree,
We must bury him there, by the light of the
moon!

"But hark! the far bugles their warnings unite;
War is a virtue, -- weakness a sin;
There's a lurking and loping around us to-night,
Load again, rifleman, keep your hand in!"




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