Fort Monroe in Harper's Weekly

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, February 2, 1861

Other Pages From this Newspaper Include:

Biographies of Seceding Mississippi Delegation | Fort Monroe in Harper's Weekly | Fort Monroe Article | Secession of Georgia and Louisiana

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68

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[FEBRUARY 2, 1861.

RALPH FARNHAM'S LAST DREAM.

IN the midst of his children's children, by the home-fire's cheerful blaze, An o1(1 man sat in an easy-chair, dreaming of by-gone days; Dreaming of wearisome marches, by flood, morass, and wold, Where many a brave heart fainted with hunger and thirst and cold : Dreaming of midnight watch( s in the dreary, drizzling rain,

And the hum of his comrades' voices, that he never should hear again ; Of the smouldering fires of the bivouac, the sentinel's measured tread, The smoke and roar of the battle, and the faces of the dead—Of the fair young son of his neighbor, who fought and fell by his side, And the sacred message he gave him to his girl-love when he died. He saw the face of the maiden grow as cold as death and as pale, As he sat by her father's hearth-stone and told her the cruel tale. "Ay, ay!" in his sleep he murmured, "she was fair and he was brave, But she faded away like a blossom, and we made him a soldier's grave. But we routed the British legions, and sent them over the sea, For the God of battles helped us, and our native land was free. My son, I have been dreaming a dream that gave me pain ; I thought I was young, and a soldier, fighting for freedom again : I saw the tents and the banners, and the shining ranks of the foe, And the crimson tracks our poor recruits left on the frozen snow. But is it true, this rumor, or only an idle tale

Do they talk of dissolving the Union ?—Ah, well may your cheek grow pale, And well may an old man tremble, and his heart beat faint and low, When he thinks of the price it cost us some fourscore years ago ! I have watched its growing greatness through a life of many years, But I never forgot that its blessings were purchased with blood and tears. I never forgot the privations of fourscore years ago,

When the naked feet of our poor recruits left crimson tracks in the snow. I never forgot their faces, and I seem to see them still, Who looked straight into the face of death at the battle of Bunker's Hill. And so the home of Marion is the first to break the band That bound the beautiful sisterhood of our beloved land; The children of the heroes around whose memory clings The glory of King's Mountain, Cowpens, and Eutaw Springs ! I saw our blessed banner, with its white and crimson bars, When fair South Carolina was one of the thirteen stars; And if' ever that constellation is marred or rent in twain, It would blast the sight of these poor old eyes to see its folds again. If God has forsaken our country, the only boon I crave Is that He will delay its ruin till I have gone down to the grave; For I could not breathe with traitors, nor turn my face to the sun, Nor dwell in the land of the living, when the States are no longer one."

SARAH T. BOLTON.

SEA BATTERY, FORT MONROE, OLD POINT COMFORT, VIRGINIA.—[SEE PAGE 70.]

UNDER THE FIR-TREES.
A HARVEST ROMANCE.

" HA, MARIAN ! well met, fair maid ! Where roaming this bright morn?"

The maiden, with a sigh, replies, " My Lord, to lease the corn."

Her hair with blossoms wild bedeck'd, her cheek with blushes dyed,

She stands a very queen of flowers, yet downcast as a bride.

" Come, Marian, my love, with me; nay, why so bashful now?

This scorching sun will deeply tinge the whiteness of thy brow ;

The coarse, harsh stubble of the fields these little hands will spoil ;

My village beauty was not born to suffer heat and toil.

"Come, fairest, come, why linger still? Such rude employment leave;

Beneath the fir-trees' welcome shade, we'll wander as at eve.

Have you that happy hour forgot—my murmur'd vows and sighs?

Dear Marian, turn, and let me read my answer in thine eyes!"

Fair Marian at his bidding turns ; they pace beneath the trees,

Whose tall and tender columns wave and mutter with each breeze.

But those sweet eyes are filled with tears, the blush forsakes her cheek.

" What is it troubles Marian so ? Speak, little maiden, speak."

But Marian, resting on a bank, looks down and thinks a while;

The handsome noble, lounging near, looks on with careless smile.

No sound disturbs the solitude but labor's distant hum:

Impatiently at last he cries, "My sweetest, art thou dumb ?"

Then, hands clasped loosely round his arm, upturn'd her pretty face,

Fair Marian says with earnest air, yet full of modest grace,

"The words you whisper'd me last night, and once we met before,

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