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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/329

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La Bataille des Mouchoirs. 321

Of all the routs that ever was seen

From the days of Saladin to Marshall Tourrenne,

Or all the victories later yet won,

From Waterloo's field to that of Bull Run;

All, all, must hide their fading light,

In the radiant glow of the handkerchief fight;

And a paean of joy must thrill the land,

When they hear of the deeds of Banks' band.

'Twas on the levee, where the tide

Of " Father Mississippi" flows, Our gallant lads, their country's pride,

Won this great vict'ry o'er her foes. Four hundred Rebels were to leave

That morning for Secessia shades, When down there came (you'd scarce believe),

A troop of children, wives and maids, To wave farewells, to bid Godspeed,

To shed for them the parting tear, To waft them kisses as the meed

Of praise to soldiers' hearts most dear, They came in hundreds thousands lined

The streets, the roofs, the shipping, too, Their ribbons dancing in the wind,

Their bright eyes flashing love's adieu. 'Twas then to danger we awoke,

But nobly faced the unarmed throng, And beat them back with hearty stroke,

'Till re- enforcements came along. We waited long, our aching sight

Was strained in eager, anxious gaze. At last we saw the bayonets bright

Flash in the sunlight's welcome blaze. The cannon's dull and heavy roll,

Fell greeting on our gladdened ear, Then fired each eye, then glowed each soul,

For well we knew the strife was near.

Charge! rang the cry, and on we dashed

Upon our female foes, As seas in stormy fury lashed,

When'er the tempest blows.