by: Laura Searing (Howard Glyndon)

      HE days of June were nearly done;
      The fields, with plenty overrun,
      Were ripening 'neath the harvest sun,
      In fruitful Pennsylviania!
      Sang birds and children, "All is well!"
      When, sudden, over hill and dell,
      The gloom of coming battle fell
      On peaceful Pennsylvania!
      Through Maryland's historic land,
      With boastful tongue, and spoiling hand,
      They burst--a fierce and famished band--
      Right into Pennsylvania!
      In Cumberland's romantic vale
      Was heard the plundered farmer's wail,
      And every mother's cheek was pale,
      In blooming Pennsylvania!
      With taunt and jeer, and shout and song,
      Through rustic towns they passed along--
      A confident and braggart throng--
      Through frightened Pennsylvania!
      The tidings startled hill and glen;
      Up sprang our hardy Northern men,
      And there was speedy travel then,
      All into Pennsylvania!
      The foe laughed out in open scorn;
      For "Union men were coward-born,"
      And then--they wanted all the corn
      That grew in Pennsylvania!
      It was the languid hour of noon,
      When all the birds were out of tune,
      And nature in a sultry swoon,
      In pleasant Pennsylvania;
      When, sudden o'er the slumbering plain,
      Red flashed the battle's fiery rain;
      The volleying cannon shook again
      The hills of Pennsylvania!
      Beneath that curse of iron hail,
      That threshed the plain with flashing flail,
      Well might the stoutest soldier quail,
      In echoing Pennsylvania!
      Then, like a sudden summer rain,
      Storm-driven o'er the darkened plain,
      They burst upon our ranks and main,
      In startled Pennsylvania;
      We felt the old ancestral thrill,
      From sire to son transmitted still,
      And fought for Freedom with a will,
      In pleasant Pennsylvania!
      The breathless shock--the maddened toil--
      The sudden clinch--the sharp recoil--
      And we were masters of the soil,
      In bloody Pennsylvania!
      To westward fell the beaten foe;
      The growl of battle, hoarse and low,
      Was heard anon, but dying slow,
      In ransomed Pennsylvania!
      Sou'-westward, with the sinking sun,
      The cloud of battle, dense and dun,
      Flashed into fire--and all was won
      In joyful Pennsylvania!
      But ah, the heaps of loyal slain!
      The bloody toil! the bitter pain!
      For those who shall not stand again
      In pleasant Pennsylvania!
      Back, through the verdant valley lands,
      Fast fled the foe, in frightened bands,
      With broken swords and empty hands,
      Out of fair Pennsylvania!

"The Battle of Gettysburg" is reprinted from One Hundred Choice Selections. Ed. Phineas Garrett. Philadelphia: Penn Publishing Co., 1897.




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