The Lost galleon and Other Tales

Of One Who Fell in Battle

Bret Harte

BY smoke-encumbered field and tangled lane,
Down roads whose dust was laid with scarlet dew,
Past guns dismounted, ragged heaps of slain,
Dark moving files, and bright blades glancing through,
All day the waves of battle swept the plain
Up to the ramparts, where they broke and cast
Thy young life quivering down, like foam before the blast.

Then sank the tumult. Like an angel’s wing,
Soft fingers swept thy pulses. The west wind
Whispered fond voices, mingling with the ring
Of Sabbath bells of Peace—such peace as brave men find,
And only look for till the months shall bring
Surcease of Wrong, and fail from out the land
Bondage and shame, and Freedom’s altars stand.

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