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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

Riding Down

By Nora Perry (1831–1896)

OH, did you see him riding down,

And riding down, while all the town

Came out to see, came out to see,

And all the bells rang mad with glee?

Oh, did you hear those bells ring out,

The bells ring out, the people shout,

And did you hear that cheer on cheer

That over all the bells rang clear?

And did you see the waving flags,

The fluttering flags, the tattered flags,

Red, white, and blue, shot through and through,

Baptized with battle’s deadly dew?

And did you hear the drums’ gay beat,

The drums’ gay beat, the bugles sweet,

The cymbals’ clash, the cannons’ crash,

That rent the sky with sound and flash?

And did you see me waiting there,

Just waiting there and watching there,

One little lass, amid the mass

That pressed to see the hero pass?

And did you see him smiling down,

And smiling down, as riding down

With slowest pace, with stately grace,

He caught the vision of a face,—

My face uplifted red and white,

Turned red and white with sheer delight,

To meet the eyes, the smiling eyes,

Outflashing in their swift surprise?

Oh, did you see how swift it came,

How swift it came, like sudden flame,

That smile to me, to only me,

The little lass who blushed to see?

And at the windows all along,

Oh, all along, a lovely throng

Of faces fair, beyond compare,

Beamed out upon him riding there!

Each face was like a radiant gem,

A sparkling gem, and yet for them

No swift smile came, like sudden flame,

No arrowy glance took certain aim.

He turned away from all their grace,

From all that grace of perfect face,

He turned to me, to only me,

The little lass who blushed to see!