Back to the Alamo, with whose defence
The same command which ordered your recall
Has trusted me, at best a doubtful honor.
Happy the soldier, whom his narrow way
Of duty leads securely on his path;
His order is his never-failing compass.
Its execution his delight and praise.
Such, by no means, is the commander's lot,
Whose pleasure-cup is bittered by the worm-wood
Of Care and grave Responsibility,
Who oft, when human wisdom fails his mind.
With shuddering hand must draw a doubtful chance
From out the urn of fate, which mercilessly
Decides on this his merit and his fame.
But then, as meet it is, a soldier's wish
Succumbs before the voice of discipline.
'Tis strange how oft, what seems to one a burden
His neighbor covets as his greatest boon.
'Tis so the case with us; for nothing more
I should desire to crown my life's exploits
Than to defend the self-same Alamo
Which but two months ago the volunteers
In my command so gallantly have won.
Like as a precious gift I cherished it,
Such as we fain repeatedly defend
To show, how much we value its possession.