Monday, May 20, 2013


(An wddoot of the Battle of San Juan. July 1.1898) .
Blair, the regular, wounded lay
   On the slope of San Juan hill;
Near by were two of the volunteers,
   Bleeding and faint and still;
And farther up, in a palm-tree hid,
   A Spaniard with deadly gun
Took cruel aim at the men below,
   Dropping them one by one.
One volunteer, with a feeble hand,
   Fought with the plaguing flies;
It told the fact of lingering life
   To the Spaniard's watchful eyes.
He raised his gun to his shoulder then,
   And a bullet sang afar;
It hit the hat of the wounded man,
   Who lay on the left of Blair.
Another! The boy on the right hand winced,
   And uttered a moan of pain;
Another! Blair looked at his reddened blouse
   And muttered, "I'm hit again,
But there's one more load in my old gun""­
   His brow grew black with a frown­
"And I vow I'll shoot that Spanish brute,
   Who fires on men that are down."
Weak were his hands as he raised his gun,
   But steady his eye and aim;
Soon, round the trunk of the shielding palm,
   The head of the Spainard came.
Then up from the slope the Springfield spoke
   And answered the Mauser well;
Blair, the regular, grimly smiled
   As the Spaniard shrieked and fell.
The volunteer who lay on the left
   Moaned "Water!" again and again.
Said Blair, "By making a double-quick
   I may capture a full canteen."
So, firmly shutting his whitening lips,
   He crept where the Spaniard lay,
Secured the prize and crawled slowly back;­
   Ah, painful and long seem the way!
"You first," said both of the volunteers,'
   As he handed out the full canteen;
They saw his blood-stained blouse, and they knew
   Right well what its cost had been;
Blair could but whisper to answer them,
   One hand on his bleeding side,
"You fellows have homes somewhere," said he,
   "I'm a regular." Then he died.
Sidney of England, make room! Make room
   In thy niche of courtly fame,
While side by side with thine own we write
   Another nobleman's name!
Blair, the regular! Homeless no more
   Since thy death's heroic day.
Thy name and the fame of thy gallant deed
   Are homed in our hearts for aye.
                                               Ida lZeed ~r.nith.

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