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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

The Lost Battle

By Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (Mother Alphonsa) (1851–1926)

[From Along the Shore. 1888.]

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.