• What the Bullet Sang

    From the Newark Evening Star, March 6, 1915. By Bret Harte.

    O joy of creation
        To be!
    O rapture to fly
        And be free!
    Be the battle lost or won,
    Though its smoke shall hide the sun,
    I shall find my love—the one
        Born for me!

    I shall know him where he stands
        All alone
    With the power in his hands
        Not o’erthrown;
    I shall know him by his face
    By his godlike front and grace;
    I shall hold him for a space
        All my own!

    It is he—O my love!
        So bold!
    It is I—all thy love
    It is I! O love! What bliss!
    Dost thou answer to my kiss?
    O sweetheart! What is this
        Lieth there so cold?

  • Fate

    From The Times Dispatch, May 27, 1914. By Bret Harte.

    The sky is clouded, the rocks are bare,
    The spray of the tempest is white in air,
    The winds are out with the waves at play,
    And I shall not tempt the sea today.

    The trail is narrow, the wood is dim,
    The panther clings to the arching limb,
    The lion’s whelps are abroad at play,
    And I shall not join in the chase today.

    But the ship sailed safely over the sea,
    And the hunters came from the chase in glee,
    And the town that was builded upon a rock
    Was swallowed up in an earthquake shock.

  • The Aged Stranger

    From The Birmingham Age Herald, September 18, 1913. By Bret Harte.

    “I was with Grant,” the stranger said;
        Said the farmer, “Say no more,
    But rest thee here at my cottage porch,
        For thy feet are weary and sore.”

    “I was with Grant,” the stranger said;
        Said the farmer, “Say no more,
    I prithee sit at my frugal board,
        And eat of my humble store.

    “How fares my boy—my soldier boy,
        Of the old Ninth army corps?
    I warrant he bore him gallantly
        In the smoke and the battle roar!”

    “I know him not,” said the aged man,
        “And as I remarked before,
    I was with Grant—.” “Nay, nay, I know,”
        Said the farmer, “Say no more;

    “He fell in battle? I see, alas!
        Thou’dst smooth these tidings o’er—
    Nay, speak the truth, whatever it be,
        Though it rend my bosom’s core.

    “How fell he—with his face to the foe,
        Upholding the flag he bore?
    Oh, say not that my boy disgraced
        The uniform that he wore!”

    “I cannot tell,” said the aged man,
        “And should have remarked before,
    That I was with Grant—in Illinois—
        Some three years before the war.”

    Then the farmer spake him never a word,
        But beat with his fist full sore,
    That aged man, who had worked for Grant,
        Some three years before the war.