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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Carmen Bellicosum

By Guy Humphrey McMaster (1829–1887)

[Born in Clyde, N. Y., 1829. Died at Bath, N. Y., 1887. The Knickerbocker Magazine. 1849.]

IN their ragged regimentals

Stood the old Continentals,

Yielding not,

While the grenadiers were lunging,

And like hail fell the plunging


When the files

Of the isles,

From the smoky night-encampment, bore the banner of the rampant


And grummer, grummer, grummer, rolled the roll of the drummer,

Through the morn!

Then with eyes to the front all,

And with guns horizontal,

Stood our sires;

While the balls whistled deadly,

And in streams flashing redly

Blazed the fires:

As the roar

On the shore

Swept the strong battle-breakers o’er the green-sodded acres

Of the plain;

And louder, louder, louder, cracked the black gunpowder,

Cracking amain!

Now like smiths at their forges

Worked the red St. George’s


And the villainous saltpeter

Rang a fierce, discordant metre

Round our ears:

As the swift


With hot sweeping anger, came the horse-guards’ clangor

On our flanks.

Then higher, higher, higher, burned the old-fashioned fire

Through the ranks!

Then the bare-headed Colonel

Galloped through the white infernal


And his broadsword was swinging,

And his brazen throat was ringing


Then the blue

Bullets flew,

And the trooper-jackets redden at the touch of the leaden


And rounder, rounder, rounder, roared the iron six-pounder,

Hurling death!