Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LEE'S PAROLE, by MARION MANVILLE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

LEE'S PAROLE, by            
First Line: Well, general grant, have you heard the news?
Last Line: Preserved the north in the south's parole.
Alternate Author Name(s): Pope, Marion Manville, Mrs.
Subject(s): American Civil War; Appomattox, Virginia; Grant, Ulysses Simpson (1822-1885); Lee, Robert Edward (1807-1870); U.s. - History

"WELL, General Grant, have you heard the news?
How the orders are issued and ready to send
For Lee, and the men in his staff-command,
To be under arrest, -- now the war's at an end?"

"How so? Arrested for what?" he cried.
"Oh, for trial as traitors, to be shot, or hung."
The chief's eye flashed with a sudden ire,
And his face grew crimson as up he sprung.
"Orderly, fetch me my horse," he said.
Then into the saddle and up the street,
As if the battle were raging ahead,
Went the crash of the old war-charger's feet.

"What is this I am told about Lee's arrest, --
Is it true?" -- and the keen eyes searched his soul.
"It is true, and the order will be enforced!"
"My word was given in their parole
At Richmond, and that parole
Has not been broken, -- nor has my word,
Nor will be until there is better cause
For breaking than this I have lately heard."

"Do you know, sir, whom you have thus addressed?
I am the War Department's head --"
"And I -- am General Grant!
At your peril order arrests!" he said.

A friend is a friend, as we reckon worth,
Who will throw the gauntlet in friendship's fight;
But a man is a man in peace or war
Who will stake his all for an enemy's right.
'T was a hard-fought battle, but quickly won, --
As a fight must be when 't is soul to soul, --
And 't was years ago; but that honored word
Preserved the North in the South's parole.

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