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The Baldwin Library
O, SOLDIER play! The greatest joy
Of our first youth! When scarce the boy
Can walk alone, when straight will he
A Herb and a Soldier be.
And soon to him, 0, what delight
Does Santa Claus, on Christmas night,
Bring drum and gun, and sabre too!
Now must he, as in war they do,
Swing in the air his sabre bright,
Beat on his drum from morn to night,
And shoot and drum without repose,
Till weary to his bed he goes.
Then when he larger grows some day,
He will appear in brave array;
In step will he then march aright,
And exercise with all his might;
Will bivouac out upon the field,
Stand guard before the tent, and wield
His sword, and plant his cannon, too,
From which the foe will get his due.
And now, my child, I will tell you
Of Fred, the little Captain, who
Took no repose nor rest, till he
Became a Hero, as you'll be.
How joyfully, when school is done,
Into the house does brave Fred run,
And buckle on his sabre strong,
While the drums beat, and march along
His playmates, that to many a deed
Of war he must as Captain lead.
Right gallantly he marches down
His company before the town,
And bids them Shoulder arms !" and then
" Present arms and then again,
He shouts with all his main and might,
"Forward, men Carry arms File right! "
The Corporals, with manners rough,
Knock all the legs quite straight enough,
And the Recruit will quickly learn
He must bear this without return;
For if threat he scolds or fret,
Out of the army he'll be sent.
So goes it till the mild twilight
Warns them of the approach of night;
Then home they march along the street,
While the tattoo their drummers beat,
And every one is blithe and gay,
Because all went so well to-day.
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THE &RC~UI QUTK
ACTIVELY now are working the boys
In the first beams of the morning light,
All of their arms, their guns and swords,
And even their drums have they polished bright.
For Fred has given them strict commands,
And so to-day must a battle be fought,
For the two parties no more can agree,
Therefore they hasten, nor arm they for nought.
The enemy stands to the right of the gate,
In front two trumpeters bravely blow,
And Fred, with his drummers all sounding the march,
Draws his forces up to the left of the foe.
Gayly the flags all wave in the wind;
All are courageous ('tis courage that wins),
Nothing there is but resembles true war,
And all now rejoice, for the battle begins.
CLOSE to an ancient, gray, half-ruined tower,
Does Fred with all his forces lie concealed;
And as they lie there, to the Outpost's eye,
The presence of the foe is soon revealed.
Before a hamlet, and behind a copse,
The enemy has pitched in fiery haste
His camp, and weary on the fragrant grass,
Will sweet repose for a few moments taste.
Of this Fred's forces do advantage take,
And, rushing from the ambush, to the eyes
But half awake from dreams, appear so quick
That the foe quakes with terror and surprise.
And now slight skirmishing is going on,
Which proves but the commencement of a far
Worse battle, and now the foe lose many arms,
While some are even made prisoners of war.
Joyfully now Fred's troops return to camp,
Exulting over the brave victory won,
And praising high their gallant officer,
That to such great services has led them on.
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JACOB and Charles, they who were prisoners taken,
Were fast indeed, their heads were almost split;
Yet Fred a court-martial must hold upon them,
And thus must show his judgment and his wit.
Meanwhile no one but Albert can their supper cook,
So on this weighty business he's intent,
And the poor prisoners thereby experience
What they'll receive as their just punishment.
Fred says to them, If on our side you'll fight
You shall have freedom. Speak, I have the power."
But Jacob answers, "Never will you see it;
Sooner will we be buried in your Tower.
SFaithless deserters will you never make us;
Captives we are, and captives will remain,
Until our army shall recover courage,
Return, and drive you back in flight again."
Fred was not moved, although somewhat astonished
At the brave words which Jacob boldly said;
Pronounced their sentence, and left both the Captives
With a strong guard, to be to prison led.
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TIM STORkMM Of THE BRIDAL
THE foe have garrisoned the Bridge,
Close by the ruined arch;
Fred calls his troops, and bids them arm,
To the attack to march.
Already do the soldiers fire,
Yet is it only play;
For while they shoot as if in rage,
Yet each one aims away.
At last does gallant Fred advance,
With all his force indeed,
And now there is a fierce assault,
From which no one is freed.
And through the water now his troops
Are bravely wading. Look!
While from the Bridge one calls, "My hat
Has fallen in the brook!"
And they who fall upon the ground,
To rise again, forget,
Because from Fred, well-placed unseen,
Fresh troops are forming yet.
Hurrah! the enemy retreats
To town with all his might!
Fred shouts, "Now is the greatest luck I
On! on! to the last fight."
THE LAST BATTLE, AND SUERENO DF THE ENE~YW
IN the village is now such a terrible noise,
Such an uproar of shouting and drumming,
Such a sounding of trumpets and shouting of boys,
That the people are vexed at their coming.
Already the battle has lasted an hour,
And the foe is still fighting on rashly,
While many are struck so severely that power
No more after the blows they have scarcely.
In their fright not a few to the ground now have fallen,
And deserters are hastily fleeing,
And themselves, o'er the high garden hedge,
With gun and with sabre are springing.
On the bravely fought field Fredthe victor remains,
While in front, with the foe, peace is making,
And with branches in hats, friend and foe
Are gayly their-homeward way taking.
At last are the captives brought forth and set free,
Thus the victors great clemency showing,
And never will end the rejoicing and mirth,
As home along street they're returning.
"Ah!" cry they, "our Fred is a hero of might,
.Who leads us to act not to prattle;
Henceforth will we often march out to the field,
And follow him on to the battle."