Poem of the Day.
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!"
(Saturday, 23 October, 2021.)