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
Crack! went the rifle, the messenger sped,
And dead from his horse fell the ringing dra-

"Now, rifleman, steal through the bushes, and
From your victim some trinket to handsel first
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

"But I snatched off the trinket, -- this locket of
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-
Was her husband -- Hush! soldier, 't was Heav-
en's decree,
We must bury him there, by the light of the

"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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