I stood within the Depot gate - 
From corners of the silent square
The frosted moon of midnight drove
Dim shadowy groups, which struggling strove
As hastening, to fall in.

I stood within the Depot gate -
No trumpet call or bugle note,
Nor marching of a thousand feet,
Dark companies that wheel and meet
And then extend in line.

No cadenced voice of quick command,
Nor crash of rifles filled the air,
But firm and slow with noiseless tread
The ghostly muster of the dead
In big battalions passed.

Tall giant forms of matchless mould,
With fleshless hands and glassy eyes,
In thousand after thousand strove,
And airy squadrons proudly rode
- The army of the dead.

A thousand swords the moonbeams caught,
Then faded in the shining air;
Ten thousand bayonets quivering played
In seas of light their quivering made,
And melted in the grey.

I stood within the Depot gate,
And saw the awful rearguard ride
On rushing steeds, with hooves of flame,
Led on by one whose soldier name
Bore hallmark of the brave.

And as that phantom rear-guard rode
The 'rouse' was sounding in the square.
This pageant of the buried past
Dissolved as morning's bugle blast
And vanished into air. 

Peter Mc
Edited 3 times by Peter Mc RIC Oct 22 16 6:47 PM.