List to the groans of the wounded and dying!
The horse and his rider are gasping there,
And they soon shall be but as things that were.
That morning's sun on the warrior's brow
Wrote pride and joy that are blotted now!
And the vesper star came forth to see
The soldier's heart in its revelry;—
But vainly will beam to-morrow's sun
Many a mangled form upon;
And the vesper star again will rise
But not to be hailed by those death-dimmed eyes.
Ah! there a bold Moslem writhing lay,
And gasp by gasp was life ebbing away;
In that dark hour 'twas his doom to be curst
With burning, slakeless, maddening thirst;
He could not rise from his battle-bed,
And none was there to heed what he said,
But a fallen comrade lay by his side,
And he drank his blood, and sank, and died;—
A father hung o'er his perishing child
Whose breath heaved thick, and whose gaze was wild;
The light of his eye was passing away,
Like the sun's pale beams on a stormy day;
The beat of his heart waxed faint and slow,
And for him nigh hushed was all mortal woe;
His brow was cold as despair may be,
And the struggling spirit at last was free.
* * * * * *