Poem of the Day.


verse/vol10war:
The Rifleman's "Fancy Shot."



"Rifleman, shoot me a fancy shot,
  Straight at the heart of yon prowling vidette;
Ring me a ball on the glittering spot
  That shines on his breast like an amulet."

"Ah, captain! here goes for a fine-drawn bead;
  There's music around when my barrel's in tune."
Crack! went the rifle; the messenger sped,
  And dead from his horse fell the ringing dragoon.

"Now, rifleman, steal through the bushes, and snatch
  From your victim some trinket to handsel first blood:
A button, a loop, or that luminous patch
  That gleams in the moon like a diamond stud."

"Oh, captain! I staggered, and sank in my track,
  When I gazed on the face of the fallen vidette;
For he looked so like you, as he lay on his back,
  That my heart rose upon me, and masters me yet.

"But I snatched off the trinket--this locket of gold;
  An inch from the centre my lead broke its way,
Scarce grazing the picture, so fair to behold,
  Of a beautiful lady in bridal array."

"Ha! rifleman! fling me the locket--'tis she!
  My brother's young bride; and the fallen dragoon.
Was her husband. Hush, soldier!--'twas heaven's deer
  We must bury him there, by the light of the moon.

"But hark! the far bugles their warning unite;
  War is a virtue, and weakness a sin;
There's a lurking and lopping around us to-night:
  Load again, rifleman, keep your hand in!"





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(Saturday, 23 October, 2021.)