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Christmas Night of ’62 (Confederate)

The wintry blast goes wailing by,

The snow is falling overhead;

I hear the lonely sentry’s tread,

And distant watch-fires light the sky.

Dim forms go flitting through the gloom;

The soldiers cluster round the blaze

To talk of other Christmas days,

And softly speak of home and home.

My sabre swinging overhead

Gleams in the watch-fire’s fitful glow,

While fiercely drives the blinding snow,

And memory leads me to the dead.

My thoughts go wandering to and fro,

Vibrating between the Now and Then;

I see the low-browed home again,

The old hall wreathed with mistletoe.

And sweetly from the far-off years

Comes borne the laughter faint and low,

The voices of the Long Ago!

My eyes are wet with tender tears.

I feel again the mother-kiss,

I see again the glad surprise

That lightened up the tranquil eyes

And brimmed them o’er with tears of bliss,

As, rushing from the old hall-door,

She fondly clasped her wayward boy—

Her face all radiant with the joy

She felt to see him home once more.

My sabre swinging on the bough

Gleams in the watch-fire’s fitful glow,

While fiercely drives the blinding snow

Aslant upon my saddened brow.

Those cherished faces all are gone!

Asleep within the quiet graves

Where lies the snow in drifting waves,

–And I am sitting here alone.

There’s not a comrade here to-night

But knows that loved ones far away

On bended knee this night will pray:

“God bring our darling from the fight.”

But there are none to wish me back,

For me no yearning prayers arise.

The lips are mute and closed the eyes

–My home is in the bivouac.

Written by: William Gordon McCabe

When I think of the Civil War, I think of snow. The image in my head is sick and dying soldiers attempting to fight off the cold and frostbite.  I think of them having fires, and huddling together.  And that is what this poem talks about. It also talks about the soldiers reminiscing about past memories with their loved ones. About missing Christmas, and all the love from their family.  And then, the end is simply stating that when in war, your home isn’t where you came from; it’s the battle field. War also reminds me of men longing for their families while their away.  This poem is somber and defeating; fitting for the topic of Civil War.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Civil War Poetry

 

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Pledges of Honor

I found 5 different pledges/oaths of honor…

Canada: I found two. The first one is said in some schools every morning, and the other is recited at military ceremonies.
Military: “I, ………….., do solemnly swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second, Queen of Canada, her heirs and successors according to law, forever. So help me God.”
School: “I salute the flag, the emblem of my Country, to her I pledge my love, my life, and my loyalty.”

Ireland (I didn’t find when the next ones are said): “I,………., do solemnly swear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State as by law established, and that I will be faithful to H.M. King George V, his heirs and successors by law in virtue of the common citizenship of Ireland with Great Britain and her adherence to and membership of the group of nations forming the British Commonwealth of nations.”

New Zealand: “I swear allegiance to the King, to the Statute for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and to the Constitution. I swear that I will faithfully perform the duties my office lays upon me. So help me God almighty!”

Australia: “I, ………., do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, her heirs and successors according to law.”

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2011 in Pledges

 

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