DRAGOON'S SONG by George Henry Boker (1823-1890)

Clash, clash goes the sabre against my steed's side, Kling, kling go the rowels, as onward I ride; And all my bright harness is living and speaks, And under my horseshoes the frosty ground creaks; I wave my buff glove to the girl whom I love, Then join my dark squadron, and forward I move. The foe, all secure, has lain down by his gun; I'll open his eyelids before the bright sun. I burst on his pickets; they scatter, they fly; Too late they awaken,--'t is only to die. Now the torch to their camp; I'll make it a lamp, As back to my quarters so slowly I tramp. Kiss, kiss me, my darling! your lover is here. Nay, kiss off the smoke-stains; keep back that bright tear; Keep back that bright tear till the day when I come, To the low wailing fife and deep muffled drum, With a bullet half through this bosom so true, To die, as I ought, for my country and you.

Soldier Life