My mug is broken, my heart is
woes can fate still hold in store?
The friend I cherished a thousand
smashed to pieces on the floor;
Is shattered, and to Limbo gone;
see my mug no more!
Relic, it was, of joyous hours,
memories still allure--
When coffee made of rye we drank,
And gray was all
the dress we wore;
When we were paid some cents
But never asked
In marches long, by day and night,
In raids, hot charges,
shocks of war,
Strapped on the saddle at my
comrade still I bore--
This old companion, true and
Bright days, when young in heart
leaped at the words "La Gloire!"
When the gray people cried,
Why we have one
When but to see the foeman's
all they asked --no more.
From the Rapidan to Gettysburg--
bread", behind, "sour krout" before--
This friend went with the cavalry
heard the jarring cannon roar
In front of Cemetery Hill--
Good Heavens! how they did roar!
Then back again, the foe behind,
Back to the
"Old Virginia shore" --
Some dead and wounded left--some
the sullen graybacks bore:
This mug had made the
And we'd have gone once more!
Alas! we never went again!
red cross banner, slow but sure,
"Fell back"--we bade to sour
(Like the lover of Lenore)
A long, sad, lingering farewell--
To taste its joys no more.
But still we fought, and ate
starved--good friend our woes deplore!
And still this faithful friend
behind me as before--
The friend on march, in bivouac,
others were no more.
How oft we drove the horsemen
Summer bright or winter frore!
How oft before the Southern
field and wood the bluebirds tore!
I'm harmonized" today,
I'd like to charge once more.
Oh Yes! we're all "fraternal"
Purged of our sins we're clean and pure,
Congress will "reconstruct"
us soon --
no gray people on that floor!
I'm harmonized --"so called"--but
To see those times once more!
Gay days! the sun was brighter
And we were happy, though so poor!
That past comes back as I behold
My shattered friend upon the floor,
My splintered, useless,
From which I'll drink no more.
How many lips I'll love for aye,
While heart and memory endure,
Have touched this broken cup
How they did laugh!---in days of yore!
Those days we'd call "a beauteous
If they had been no more!"
Dear comrades, dead this many
I saw you weltering in your gore
After those days, amid the pines
On the Rappahannock shore!
When the joy of life was much
But your warm hearts were more!
Yours was the grand heroic nerve
That laughs amid the storm of war--
Souls that "loved much" your
Who fought and died therefor!
You gave your youth, your brains,
Your blood --you had no more!
You lived and died true to your
And now your wounds are healed, but sore
Are many hearts that think of
Where you have "gone before."
God bound up those forms--
They are "whole" forevermore!
Those lips this broken vessel
His, too!--the man's we all adore--
That cavalier of cavaliers,
Whose voice will ring no more--
Whose plume will float
amid the storm
Of battle nevermore!
Not on this idel page I write
That name of names, shrined in the core
Of every heart! Peace!
Hush! words so cold and poor!
His sword is rust; the blue
His bugle sounds no more!
Yet even here write this:
As Rupert in the years before,
And when his stern, hard work
His griefs, joys, battles o'er--
His mightily spirit rode the
And led his men once more!
He lies beneath his native sod,
Where violets spring, or frost is hoar,
He recks not--charging squadrons
His raven plume no more!
That smile we'll see, that voice
That hand we'll touch no more!
My foolish mirth is quenched
Poor fragments strewed upon the floor,
You are a type of nobler things
That find their use no more --
Things glorious once, now trodden
That make us smile no more!
Of courage, pride, high hopes,
Hard, stubborn nerve, devotion pure.
Beating his wings against the
The prisoned eagle tried to soar!
Outmatched, overwhelmed, we
Bread failed--we fought no more!
Lies in the dust the shattered
That bore aloft on sea and shore
That blazing flag, amid the
And none are now so poor!
So poor to do it reverence
Now when it flames no more!
But it is glorious in the dust,
Sacred till time shall be no more.
Spare it, fierce editors, your
The dread "Rebellion's o'er!
Furl the great flag, hide cross
Thrust into darkness star and bar,
But, look! across the
It flames forever more!