The Dying Warrior
by Achsa White Sprague
His gallant form is lying on
The cold and blood-stained ground,
While thunders of the battle-field
Are raging loud around.
His helmet with its waving plume
Is lying by his side,
And from his heart the warm life-blood
Is flowing like a tide.
His blood-stained sword that's been his friend
In many a well-fought field,
Has fallen from his nerveless hand,
Unable now to wield.
The hue of death is on his cheek,
And in his bloodshot eye,
He feels the death-chill on his brow,
And knows that he must die.
Oh, raise my languid form, he says,
And let me see once more
The charge of my own legions brave,
As on the foe they pour.
Go, go to them, and tell them
'Tis my last request, my all,
To onward press to victory,
And avenge their leader's fall!
They raised him from the cold, damp ground, --
His faithful followers there; --
And wiped the clotted blood from out
His dark and matted hair.
He glanced one moment on the fight --
The spirit fires him now --
Oh, give me once my steed, he says,
My helmet on my brow,
And I will lead my men once more --
To victory, or to death!
That moment with his life-blood passed
His last, his latest breath.
But victory crowned his banners bright,
His last high wish was granted,
That wish for which his blood was spilt,
For which his soul had panted.
An early poem, composed during sickness.
Source:The Poet And Other Poems.
Boston: William White And Co.,
158 Washington Street.