Search for content in message boards

THE YOUNG VOLUNTEER A Story of the Present Times by Henry C. Blount (Written for the Cincinnati Enquirer)

Replies: 0

THE YOUNG VOLUNTEER A Story of the Present Times by Henry C. Blount (Written for the Cincinnati Enquirer)

Posted: 13 Jun 2005 12:24PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Jun 2005 8:08AM GMT
THE YOUNG VOLUNTEER


A Story of the Present Times by Henry C. Blount

(Written for the Cincinnati Enquirer)

[The author acknowledges his indebtedness to J.W. Scott, Esq., for some of the items contained in the following lines:] Ghent, Kentucky, June 13, 1862


The voice of the people was calling for war,

and patriots aloud were answ'ring the call,

To fight for their country, the home of the brave,

To fight for their dear ones, dearer than all.


Ah! The parting of friends, parting of lovers,

Oft bend the proud heart, oft moistens the eye,

Beholding the brave going boldly to battle—

To battle to live, or to battle to die.


An evening in Autumn-shall such be again?

A true and brave gallant enlisted one year—

His father, his mother, his sister in vain

Entreated and wept."Stay! stay! stay! with us,

Dear."


Oh! The anquish of the hearts, that then wrung in

Despair!

A mother’s heart bent ‘neath affliction’s dark

Storm;

Yet refused he to stay—he rushed from them there,

To breathe his farewell to another dear charm.


That true and brave gallant, Elwardo by name,

Lov’d fondly and deeply Emelina the fair,

Who dear lov’d in return-whose live’s highest aim,

Was to lessen his toils, and his joys to share.


"Emelina," said he,"Emelina, my dear,

The field of the battle had call’d me it’s own;

I must leave thee awhile, obey the command-

Leave thee, but will come-though, I leave thee

Alone."


"Go not, my Elwardo, go not to the war;

Have tears any language to ask thee to stay?

Live here where is peace-where not even ajar-

Elwardo! Elwardo! Why go thus away?"


These impassion’d, wild strains sink deep in his soul;

But love of fame still appears-calls him yet on-

Said, while tears gush’d his eyes-these could not

Control-

"Emelina! Emelina! I soon must be gone."

I’ll gain for us glory, and then come again,

If thou wilt but love me forever, and"--"Aye,"

She replied, "Yes, ever, you ask not in vain—

As true as the night ever follows the day."


She gave him a locket, her image was there;

He gave but a kiss—had he naught else to give—

And thus for the war left Emelina the fair;

Thus he left her to weep, thus left her to grieve.


Soon battle-fields dismal appear’d on his view—

The groans of the dying fell sad on his ear,

And charges, pursuits, as the enemy flew—

He feared not, he cared not, if he should die there.


Heard the soldier’s profane, swear loudly and shrill—

‘T’was strange to him then, but not long so to be,

For the toils of the field, and the glory to kill,

Soon taught him to say, "It is true, too, of me."


And oft by the watchfire, when arms were laid by,

And spirits depress’d, in all death to his ear,

He would gaze on her image-for whom he would die

At the hand of his foe-from which he took cheer.


Forts almost impregnable were storm’d and brought

Down-

Marches, countermarches, pursuit in the rout,

Were the only engagements, else not could be

Found-

Here the brave found a home, the timid grew stout.


Thus went the drear time of the slow-rolling year,

For which he enlisted, now which he pass’d-

With glory and fame, and hope mingled with fear,

Arrives near the home of his childhood at last.


He asked for his lov’d one, Emelina, the fair,

Whom long he had left, though he lov’d none be-

Side;

Was told,"Emelina, who he sought, was not there,

Someday had she gone, and fear’d she had died."


He howled in his spirit-He howled to the wind-

He pour’d the sad tale of a hope that was lost,

While dreams fill’d with frenzy swept over his mind,

As a rudderless ship on ocean, he’s toss’d.








He went to his home-oh! How chang’d was that

Home!

His parents of childhood had gone to their grave-

"Oh! God, " He exclaim’d,"am I left thus alone?

Why longer wilt spare me? Let me die, I pray."


His father’s sad heart bleeds no more for his boy,

A mother’s soul breaks, now, no more for her child,

His old home no more can greet him with joy,

Hell had left it in gloom, deserted and wild!


As if ‘twas forbidden to go to his home!

Elwardo burst forth in woe without measure;

"I’ll go to the battle, here comfort is none.


"I look on the ruins, here mold’ring around,

And my sad desolation my symbol is found;

A temple undone! none to mourn but the gale!


"Emelina! Emelina! where, where dost thou dwell?

But I call thee in vain, no answer’s for me!

Farewell to the scenes of my boyhood, farewell!

I’ll weep for thee often, but never more see."


There awhile overwhelm’d, he sank in his grief,

Till a wave, like some madness, burst over his soul,

A change that oft follows, but brings no relief

But its victims incites, be resolute, be bold.


"I’ll scoff," he cried, "laugh at the cannon’s loud roar,

Nor weep when my fellow falls dead at my feet;

Will rejoice when the field is bathing in gore,

Rather sheathe with my heart the sword than

retreat."


Soon reckless of danger, he’s found on the field,

To him what was life? Had no fear for the foe;

He press’d but for vict’ry, forgot how to yield;

He return’d shot for shot, return’d blow for blow.


To the hospital went, one evening as roam’d,

In large New Orleans. There a young trooper lay

Just brought from the field, but he nearly was gone,

For death’s chilly hand had laid hold on his prey.


The name on his couch was a strange one to him;

He thought that he’d met him somewhere through

the day.

As the youth madly shrieked-a maniac’s din-

Elwardo drew near, where the young trooper lay.


He lifts up the visor, which partly concealed

The stranger’s pale features, distintive to view-

Oh! Ye Gods! what a sight was here now reveal’d

As the auburn locks fell-Elwardo withdrew,


And in horror exclaimed: "Emelina! the fair,

Canst speak to Elwardo? Elwardo thine own?

Can’t tell, Emilina, how comest thou here,

So far from thy kindred, so far from thy home?"


"Elwardo!" she cried, "Where, oh! Where now art

thou?"

"Here, dear one,’s Elwardo here, close to thy side."

She she screamed in her madness-no reason had now-

"Base villain, be gone! Well I know that ye’ve lied!"


Then murmur’d: "Elwardo, I’ll meet thee in Heaven,

And"—Here fell her last word, she pass’d then away.

Elwardo clasp’d warmly, but could not enliven,

And he bent as a reed ‘neath grief’s bitter sway.


"Oh,God!" In his anquish, he called once again,

"Let this frail bark of mine, too, sink in the wave!

Oh! Let me not thus drift’ mid sorrow and pain—

Oh! Take me to rest, give me rest in the grave!"


On the morrow in sadness, in silence alone,

He made her a home, where we all must soon be;

He left her in sorrow, he raised not a stone—

No dirge-but the winds mourn in wild melody.


How true was that heart in this world of much guile,

In the garb of a soldier to seek whom she lov’d;

Though fate so adverse allow’d them but awhile

A meeting—but ‘twill be forever above.


"Emelina, I go" he cried,"Rest from thy pain.

In the land of the stranger, land, to, of battle.

No conflict of arms will molest thee again,

Though ‘bove thee is pour’d the cannon’s loud rattle.


"My bark may yet-on this dull, sluggish tide,

Wherever-howlong-not forgetting the past,

Till I sink to my rest, or thoughtless to guide,

Founder on shoals of adversity at last.


"Look down, parted shade, see a wanderer here,

who seeks not for rest, can expect it no more,

till this soul leaves it’s frame to seek it elsewhere,

where streams of life flow on eternity’s shore!"




Find a board about a specific topic