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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 Ragged Regiment

By Alice Williams Brotherton (1848–1930)

[From The Sailing of King Olaf, and Other Poems. 1887.]

I LOVE the ragged veterans of June,

Not your trim troop drill-marshalled for display

In gardens fine,—but such as dare the noon

With saucy faces by the public way.

Moth-mullein, with its moth-wing petals white,

Round Dandelion, and flaunting Bouncing-Bet,

The golden Butter-and-Eggs, and Ox-eye bright,

Wild Parsley, and tall Milkweed bee-beset.

Ha, sturdy tramps of Nature, mustered out

From garden service, scorned and set apart,—

There’s not one member of your ragged rout

But wakes a warmth of welcome in my heart.