“But what good came of it at last ?”
Quoth little Peterkin.

"Why, that I cannot tell," said he ;
"But 'twas a famous victory."



(Abraham Lincoln, died April 15, 1865.)

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessei grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead!

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up for you the flag is flung-for you the bugle trills;

For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding ;

For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here Captain! dear father!

This arm beneath your head;

It is some dream that on the deck

You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;

My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will:

The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;

From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won:


Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,

Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.


ALL quiet along the Potomac," they say, 'Except, now and then, a stray picket


Is shot, as he walks on his beat to and fro,
By a rifleman hid in the thicket.”

'Tis nothing—a private or two now and then
Will not count in the news of the battle;
Not an officer lost--only one of the men
Moaning out, all alone, the death-rattle.

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All quiet along the Potomac to-night,

Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming; Their tents, in the rays of the clear autumn moon Or the light of the watch-fire, are gleaming.

A tremulous sigh of the gentle night-wind Through the forest-leaves softly is creeping, While stars up above, with their glittering eyes. Keep guard, for the army is sleeping.

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There's only the sound of the lone sentry's tread As he tramps from the rock to the fountain, And thinks of the two in the low trundle-bed

Far away in the cot on the mountain. His musket falls slack; his face, dark and grim, Grows gentle with memories tender

As he mutters a prayer for the children asleepFor their mother; may Heaven defend her!

The moon seems to shine just as brightly as then,
That night when the love yet unspoken
Leaped up to his lips—when low-murmured vows
Were pledged to be ever unbroken.
Then, drawing his sleeve roughly over his eyes,
He dashes off tears that are welling,
And gathers his gun closer up to its place,
As if to keep down the heart-swelling.

He passes the fountain, the blasted pine tree,
The footstep is lagging and weary;

Yet onward he goes through the broad belt of light,
Toward the shade of the forest so dreary.

Hark! was it the night-wind that rustled the leaves?
Was it moonlight so wondrously flashing?
It looked like a rifle-"Ha! Mary, good-bye!"
The red life-blood is ebbing and plashing.

All quiet along the Potomac to-night,

No sound save the rush of the river; While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead--The picket's off duty for ever!



You know we French storm'd Ratisbon :
A mile or so away,

On a little mound, Napoleon
Stood on our storming-day;

With neck out-thrust, you fancy how,
Legs wide, arms lock'd behind,
As if to balance the prone brow,
Oppressive with its mind.

Just as perhaps he mused, "My plans
That soar, to earth may fall,

Let once my army-leader Lannes
Waver at yonder wall,”—

Out 'twixt the battery-smokes there flew
A rider, bound on bound

Full galloping; nor bridle drew
Until he reach'd the mound.

Then off there flung in smiling joy,
And held himself erect

By just his horse's mane, a boy;
You hardly could suspect―

(So tight he kept his lips compress'd,
Scarce any blood came through)

You look'd twice ere you saw his breast
Was all but shot in two.

"Well," cried he, "Emperor, by God's grace

We've got you Ratisbon !

The Marshal's in the market-place,
And you'll be there anon

To see your flag-bird flap his vans
Where I, to heart's desire,

Perch'd him!" The chief's eye flash'd; his plans Soar'd up again like fire.

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