Poem entitled, "The Roundhead's Reunion" by T.C. Harbaugh, Casstown, Ohio dedicated to the Roundheads and Published in the Friday, August 18, 1905 Edition of the Grove City Reporter
(from Col. Norman J. Maxwell's Scrapbook and transcribed by Tami McConahy for the 100th PA Webpage)
The Roundhead's Reunion.
By T.C. Harbaugh, Casstown, O.
It seems to me that every year
A lot of whiter heads appear;
It seems that as we onward go
Some cherished footsteps feebler grow,
And furrows come ‘neath locks of gray
Where none were seen but yesterday.
But when I think that since the gun
Rebellion fired in Sixty-one
O’er forty years have fled, I know
Why locks are white and steps are slow.
Your ranks to-day are not as strong
As when in youth you marched along
The dusty road to rattling drum
And lusty shout, “We come! We come!”
I need not here in humble verse
The story of your deeds rehearse ;
They’ve written in that mighty tomb,
Which Freedom treasures in her dome ;
Where each immortal historic page
Glows with the valor of the age.
Old Carolina’s sacred sod
Amid the smoke of war you trod,
South Mountain’s name is on your shield,
And Fredericksburg’s immortal field ;
Blue Springs and Jackson, Knoxville, too,
And red Antietam shine for you ;
‘Neath Vicksburg’s rampart held by foes
You plucked a crimson battle rose.
To-day the wilderness doth spread
It’s shadows o’er your gallant dead.
At Spottsylvania in the wood
A wall of stone the Roundheads stood.
Bethesda and Cold Harbor form
The edge of Petersburg’s dark storm,
And linger in your memory still
Old Poplar Grove and Squirrel Hill.
These are not all the fields you won
With trusty bayonet and gun.
Nay, other stars adorn your wreath--
You won them on the field of death.
To-day the summer gladly weaves
For you her crown of golden leaves ;
The cannon’s rut with dew is wet,
There’s rust upon the bayonet ;
The sabre of its strength is shorn,
The blades of peace are blades of corn ;
The plowshare turns the yellow mold,
The year to-day is growing old.
And so are you who marched away,
With young hearts ready for the fray.
Where are the comrades, tried and true
Who marched beside you clad in blue?
Where are the boys beloved of yore
Who came from battle nevermore?
I ask the warm and balmy breeze
That kisses Southland’s orange trees;
I ask the rivers as they run
Thro’ land of shade to seas of sun.
Methinks that e’re my words are fled
I hear the roll-call of your dead ;
Methinks I hear each gallant name
Proclaimed by Freedom’s trump of fame.
They sleep in long and ghastly lines
Beneath Virginia’s spreading pines ;
They’ve pitched their tents forevermore
Among the sands of Ocean’s shore,
And over many a gallant’s breast
The Southern blue-bird builds her nest.
These are the comrades who to-day
Are sweetly dreaming far away--
These are the boys of camp and march
Who rest beneath the starry arch.
Though they are dead to-day, I know
You see their forms as long ago ;
You feel again the hand you took
Perhaps beside the bloody brook,
And said “Farewell,” whilst far and wide
Around you rolled the battle tide ;
You hear and feel, despite Time’s flow,
The voice of “Bill,” the hand of “Joe.”
God rest your hero dead whom fame
Has proudly linked to Country’s name ;
Sweet memory weaves for them to-day
A never fading wreath of bay ;
We lay upon each stormless breast
A love which many years have blest ;
The years that come will only prove
How deeply flows the tide of love,
And once a year the flowers will fall
Upon the hallowed graves of all.
We welcome all who gather here
To grasp the hand of comrade dear-
To greet the well remembered face
And Recollection’s paths to trace.
Back to the past your thoughts return,
Deep in your breast old camp-fires burn ;
You’re living o’er the midnight march
Beneath the star-bespangled arch--
The lonely guard by ghostly bridge,
The weary tramps o’er rugged ridge;
The river waded in the morn,
The cautious raids on fields of corn--
The battle through whose smoke and fire
You bore the flag of your desire,
And crowned it with affection’s wreath
Made holy by your comrades’ death.
You did not fight and bleed in vain,
O men, who stood on hill and plain.
We gave to you in Sixty-one
The fairest banner ‘neath the sun.
You kept its stainless honor bright,
You rallied ‘round it in the fight ;
And when from your last battle plain
In triumph you come home again,
You brought us from the fields of war
A flag without a missing star.
A few more years and one and all
Will answer to Death’s bugle call ;
Forevermore your flags are furled,
Such flags ! the envy of the world !
And larger grows the silent camp
Which honor guards with stately tramp.
Think not that you have ceased to march
Beneath the heaven's starry arch.
Thought frosted by the hand of age,
You're marching still o'er history's page,
And down the corridors of time
Forever in this glorious clime
Imagination oft will see
The Roundheads--Sons of victory !
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