Tom Traynham's Ride

S H Thompson

An' you don' know Tom Traynham?
I cert'ly wish you did,
For nevah a bravah soljar
Behin' ole Stuart rid.

Belonged to Easley's comp'ny
Made up ovah south o'Dan;
A little bit of a body -
But a powerful great big man.

'Twas back thah in the sixties,
I don' remembah the yeah -
When Lee, he needed a couriah,
What want acquainted with feah.

The Captain detailed Traynham,
To answer the Gen'ral's call,
"An' Traynham," he writ in the lettah,
"Aint afeahed of a minnie ball."

An' did Traynham finch, sah?
Ef he did nobody knows;
He's allus ready in sunshine.
Or in rain, or hail, or snows.

Why, lemme tell you a story
Of what that fellah done -
Him an' the little ole sorrel,
An' that ole carbine gun.

Mars Bob, he wanted a message
Carried to ole Stonewall -
Traynham an' the mare was ready
To answer his every call.

"Attention, Corporal Traynham,"
An' Tom saluted an' faced;
Then into the hands of the couriah,
The papers, the Gen'ral placed.

"I want the dispatch delivered
To Jackson," An' tenderly laid
His hand on Traynham's shouldah.
"I'll try," was all Tom said.

"An' Traynham, I wouldn' deceive you
As you ride to Jackson's tent,
In that woods, ten thousand Yankees
Upon your destruction are bent."

He shook the Corporal's hand, sah,
While a teah 'stole from his eye;
"I know you'll do yo' duty -"
Tom simply said, "I'll try."

He mounted the mare'n saluted -
Rode straight fo' Jackson's tent,
Although ten thousand Yankees
Was in the road he went.

I only know he got thah,
I don' know the how nor why;
But the fate of Lee's whole army
Was in Tom Traynham's "Try."

An' when he reported nex' mornin',
Why, Gen'ral Lee, he cried,
An' said, "You done yo' duty."
Tom answered, "Yes, I tried."

An' that's a Confederate soljah,
Back thah in sixty-three -
I hold him up 'san example
Fo' our nabers and you an' me.

He's jes a Halifax farmer
And lives ovah south o'Dan -
But you' have to live a life-time
To find a bravah man.

An' on the greatah battle
Of this heah thing called life,
With all its care an' burdens,
In all its toils an' strife.

This heah one-legged soljah,
Who never asked the why,
Could give us all a lesson,
In his simple words, "I'll try."

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