Achsa White Sprague

Nov. 17, 1827 - Jul. 6, 1862


Address Of Henry The Fourth To His Army

by Achsa White Sprague

Soldiers of Navarre and reformed France! cried he, waving aloft his lance, do you want a banner to fight under? Then follow my white plume, and turn not your horses heads till you see it laid in the dust.Henry Quatre.

Yes, on to the rescue, soldiers all!
Nor fear ye the fate of those that fall.
Yes, on to regain your banner proud,
And win ye a name, or find a shroud!

No time is this for a craven heart,
No time to shirk from a soldier's part!
Would a banner cheer your spirits on,
To fight in a cause that must be won?

Then behold my plume that is waving high!
Follow this, nor think ye once to fly,
Nor swerve from your post until ye must,
Till this plume and head are laid in dust!

Thus he spake: then plunged in thickest fight,
While his army, now restrained from flight,
With their leader's war-cry hurried on,
To charge the ranks of the foe again.

They followed that plume where the battle raged,
And with hearts of steel the combat waged,
Nor turned their backs till the foe were crushed,
And their banner raised from out the dust.

An early poem, composed during sickness.


The Poet And Other Poems.
Copyright 1864
Boston: William White And Co.,
158 Washington Street.