Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/235

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.1 S,,nthern Hero. 281

[From the Pulaski. Tenn., Citizen, January 6, 1898.]

SAM DAVIS A SOUTHERN HERO.

A Tribute to this Martyr by ELLA WHEELER WILCOX, with a Simple Account of the Sacrifice.

A Touching Parallel to the Fate of NATHAN HALE.

Nothing sweeter, it may be felt, might the poet have done, than in her lines given. It may be trusted, that, permanently re-united, our most promising refuge and Nation, will not fail in recognition, in time, of every instance of honorable devotion.

At a recent meeting of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, at Baltimore, a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox was read. The poem is eulogistic of a young Tennessee Confederate soldier who preferred death to dishonor.

Mrs. Wilcox wrote the poem for the Confederate Veteran, and in a note to the editor, she said:

' ' I have never worked harder to produce what I desired. I be- gan fully twenty poems before I wrote this one."

Here it is:

SAM DAVIS.

. When the Lord calls up earth's heroes

To stand before his face, Oh, many a name unknown to fame

Shall ring from that high place! And out of a grave in the Southland

At the just God's call and beck, Shall one man rise with fearless eyes

And a rope around his neck.

For men have swung from gallows

Whose souls were white as snow, Not how they die nor where, but why

Is what God's records show. And on that mighty ledger

Is writ Sam Davis' name For honor's sake he would not make

A compromise with shame.