African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Raymond Garfield Dandridge, "The Dumb Soldier" (1917)

 With flying rein, a frothing steed, 
 Bearing an empty saddle ; 
 Dashed to and fro along the line, 
 Amid the din of battle. 
 The hand that guided him for years, 
 That stroked his flowing mane ; 
 Still clutching to a saber hilt, 
 Lies cold out on the plain. 
  A roaring hell on every side. 
  Like hail, the shot fell round ; 
  A blinding flash, a piercing neigh ; 
  Ned trembled ; then went down. 
  The bugle sounded loud, "The Charge!" 
  He raised his gallant head, 
  Then laid it on the sod again, 
  Another soldier — dead. 

Published in Penciled Poems, 1917

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