Ethel L. Beers
"All quiet along the Potomac," tonight,|
Except now and then a stray picket
Is shot as he walks on his beat to and fro
By a rifleman hid in the thicket.
'Tis nothing. A private or two now and then
Will not count in the news of the battle;
Not an officer lost! Only one of the men
Moaning out all alone the death rattle.
2. All quiet along the Potomac tonight,
3. His musket falls slack, his face, dark and grim,|
Grows gentle with memories tender,
As he mutters a pray'r for the children asleep,
For their mother, may Heaven defend her.
The moon seems to shine just as brightly as then
That night when the love yet unspoken
Leaped up to his lips when low-murmured vows
Were pledged to be ever unbroken.
4. Then drawing his sleeve roughly o'er his eyes,
5. Hark! Was it the night wind that rustled the leaves?|
Was it moonlight so wondrously flashing?
It looks like a rifle "Ah! Mary, good-bye!"
And his lifeblood is ebbing and splashing.
All quiet along the Potomac tonight,
No sound save the rush of the river;
While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead
The picket's off duty forever.
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