For The Times
Respectfully Inscribed To The Friends Of Elisha Bigelow, And
Company I, 15th Reg’t Mass. Vols.
Rest , soldier rest, although the battles ended,
No laurel wreath around thy brow we’d fling,
For thou art victor crowned by hands immortal,
Where peace has spread o’re thee her snow white wing.
But in the grave thy comrades kindly laid thee,
Though kindred hearts at home in anguish mourn,
Waiting in vain with yearnings of affection
To welcome back their soldier boys return.
God comfort them, be near the stricken mother,
Let her not in dark sorrow’s pathway falter,
Give her the strength to bear the sacrifice
that she has laid upon her country’s altar.
And ye who wrapped him in his martial shroud,
And laid him in his bed of endless slumbers,
And asked a strain from my poor feeble lyre,
think you I’ll breathe his dirge in wailing numbers?
For him who’d scarcely stepp’d from boyhoods years,
Yet with a patriot zeal his country cherished,
Was first to lay his young life on her shrine,
And on the war’s red path in glory perished.
He who so early manhood's honor won,
That never can be dimmed by hate or slander,
No wandering now to find his chosen band,
For he is guided by his great commander.
No, rather sing for him a triumph strain,
And swell the battle cry louder and longer,
To nerve your souls to deeds of daring high,
And make each comrades arm grow stronger.
Avenge this comrades death, and one who died,
With southern fetters’ round his prison flung,
Avenge our noble drummers early death,
Who left his martial notes on earth unsung.
We asked, while standing by young Corbin’s greave,
Whose kindly hand help’d him his pain to smother?
Who pointed him upward to the heavenly land,
And kissed his death stamped forehead for his mother?
But now should other sons of Webster fall,
With reverence lay them in their place of sleeping,
Then faster fiercer roll the war cry on
This is no time for questions nor for weeping.
Lo freedom’s flag is trailing in the dust,
Our union crumbling from its firm foundation,
Shall we become a by-word and a scorn,
For every land to flout, and every nation?
No, not till Nature gives her last great throe,
And her huge mountains from their firm base sever,
Must we give up this freedom land of ours,
Our Union, one inseparable forever.
Then, sons of Webster, onward bravely march,
Though but a handful in the ranks you’ll be,
Onward, and in the God of battles trust,
Your motto, “ Death, or Freedom’s victory.”