Stack Arms

Joseph Blyth Allston


"Stack Arms!" I've gladly heard the cry
When, weary with the dusty tread
Of marching troops, as night drew nigh
I sank upon my soldier's bed
And calmly slept: the starry dome
Of heaven's blue arch my canopy,
And mingled with my dreams of home
The thoughts and peace of liberty.


''Stack Arms! I've heard it when the shout
Exulting, rang along our line,
Of foes hurled back in bloody rout,
Captured, dispersed; it tones divine,
Then came to mine enraptured ear,
Guerdon of duty nobly done,
And glistened on my cheek, the tear
Of grateful joy for victory won.


"Stack Arms!" In faltering accents, slow
And sad, it creeps from tongue to tongue,
A broken, murmuring wail of woe,
For manly hearts by anguish wrung:
Like victims of a midnight dream,
We move, we know not how nor why,
For life and hope but phantoms seem,
And it were a relief--to die.

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