The Lost Battle

Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

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To his heart it struck such terror
That he laughed a laugh of scorn,--
The man in the soldier's doublet,
With the sword so bravely worn.

It struck his heart like the frost-wind
To find his comrades fled,
While the battle-field was guarded
By the heroes who lay dead.

He drew his sword in the sunlight,
And called with a long halloo:
"Dead men, there is one living
Shall stay it out with you!"

He raised a ragged standard,
This lonely soul in war,
And called the foe to onset,
With shouts they heard afar.

They galloped swiftly toward him.
The banner floated wide;
It sank; he sank beside it
Upon his sword, and died.

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