Monday, May 20, 2013


A soldier of the Legion lay dying in Algiers,
There was lack of woman's nursing, there was dearth of
        woman's tears,
But a comrade stood beside him, while his life-blood
        ebbed away,
And bent, with pitying glances, to hear what he might
The dying soldier faltered as he took that comrade's
And he said, "I never more shall see my own, my native
Take a message and a token to some distant friends of
mine, For I was born at Bingen-at Bingen on the Rhine.
"Tell my brothers and companions, when they meet
        and crowd around
To hear my mournful story in the pleasant vineyard
That w~ fought the battle bravely, and when the day
        was done
Full many a corse lay ghastly pale beneath the setting

"And 'mid the dead and dying were some grown old
        in wars,
The death-wound on their gallant breasts, the last at
        many scars;
But some were young, and suddenly beheld life's mom
And one had come from Bingen, fair Bingen on the
"Tell my mother that her other sons shall comfort her
         old age,
For I was still a truant bird, that thought his home a
For my father was a soldier, and even as a child
My heart leaped forth to hear him tell of struggles fierce
and wild;
And when he died and left us to divide his scanty hoard,
I let them take whate'er they would, but kept my father's­
And with boyish love I hung it where the bright li~ht
          used to shine
On the cottage wall at Bingen-calm Bingen on the

"Tell my sister not to weep for me, and sob with drooping
When the troops come marching home again with glad
        and gallant tread,
But to look upon them proudly" with a calm and stead­
        fast eye,
For her brother was a soldier, too, and not afraid to
And if a comrade seek her love, I ask her in my name
To listen to him kindly. without regret or sharile.

And to hang the old sword in its place (my father's
         sword and mine),
For the honor of old Bingen--d.ear Bingen on the Rhine.
,"There's another-not a sister: in the happy days gone
You'd have known her by the merriment that sparkled
in her eye; Too innocent for coquetry, too fond for idle scorning, 0 friend, I fear the lightest heart makes sometImes
         heaviest mourning;
"Tell her the last night of my life (for ere the moon be
risen My body will be out of pain-my soul be out of prison), I dreamed I stood with her, and saw the yellow sunlight
On the vinec1ad hills of Bingen-fair Bingen on the
"I saw the blue Rhine sweep along-I heard, or seemed
        to hear,
The German songs we used to sing, in chorus sweet and
clear, And down the pleasant river, and up the slanting hill, The echoing chorus sounded through the evening calm
       and still;                                                                         ,
And her glad blue eyes were on me as we. passed with
        friendly talk
Down many a path beloved of yore, and well-remem­
        bered walk,
And her little hand lay lightly, confidingly in mine; But we'll meetno more at Bingen-loved Bingen on the
His trembling voice grew faint and hoarse,-his grasp
        was childish weak"­
His eyes put on a dying look-he sighed and ceased to
His comrade bent to lift him, but the spark of life had
The soldier of the Legion in a foreign land is dead!
And the soft moon rose up slowly, and calmly she looked
On the red sand of the battle-field, with bloody cors€s
Yea, calmly on that dreadful scene her pale light seemed
          to shine.
As it shone on distant Bingen-fair Bingen on the Rhine.
                                                                        Caroline Norton.

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