Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, F.B.C.; CHANCELLORSVILLE, MAY 3, 1863, by WILLIAM ALLEN BUTLER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

F.B.C.; CHANCELLORSVILLE, MAY 3, 1863, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: He was our noblest, he was our bravest & best
Last Line: Still our bravest and best!
Subject(s): American Civil War; Courage; Death; Heroism; Honor; Soldiers; United States - History; Valor; Bravery; Dead, The; Heroes; Heroines

HE was our noblest, he was our bravest and best!
Tell me the post that the bravest ever have filled.
The front of the fight! It was his. For the rest—
Read the list of the killed.

On the crown of the ridge, where the sulphurous crest
Of the battle-wave broke, in its thunder and flame,
While his country's badge throbbed with each beat of his breast,
He faced death when it came.

His battery planted in front, the Brigadier cried,
"Who commands it?" as fiercely the foe charged that way;
Then how proudly our gallant Lieutenant replied,
"I command it to-day!"

There he stood by his guns; stout heart, noble form;
Home and its cherished ones never, never so dear,
Round him the whirlwind of battle, through the wild storm,
Duty never so clear.

Duty, the life of his life, his sole guiding star,
The best joy of his being, the smile that she gave,
Her call the music by which he marched to the war,
Marched to a soldier's grave.

Too well aimed, with its murderous, demon-like hiss,
To his heart the swift shot on its errand has flown—
Call it rather the burning, impetuous kiss
With which Fame weds her own!

There he fell on the field, the flag waving above,
Faith blending with joy in his last parting breath,
To his Saviour his soul, to his country the love
That was stronger than death.

Ah, how sadly, without him, we go on our way,
Speaking softer the name that has dropped from our prayers;
But as we tell the tale to our children to-day,
They shall tell it to theirs.

He is our hero, ever immortal and young,
With her martyrs his land clasps him now to her breast,
And with theirs his loved name shall be honored and sung,
Still our bravest and best!

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