The Veteran's Return from the War


Published and sung byJAMES D. GAY, of Philadelphia,the celebrated Army Song Publisher, formerly a member of the Ringgold Artillery, of Reading., Pa.; the man that carried the first soldier’s mail, from Washington to Pennsylvania, April 19, 1861, and who was chased by the rebels over the Baltimore Pike the next morning. He also watched Gen. Lee, with a telescope, for three hours, May 15, 1861, and gave the information to the War Department which prevented the rebels from taking possession of Arlington Heights, and, throwing up earthworks near the Aqueduct Bridge that night, caused them to leave on a double-quick. Full particulars on record at the War Office.

The Veteran’s Return from the War.

’Twas on a Sabbath morn,
The bells had chimed for church,
The young and gay were gathering
Around the rustic porch;
There came an aged man,
In soldier’s garb was he,
And turning round, he smiling said,
“Do you remember me?”

The veteran forgot,
His friends were changed or gone,
The manly forms around him,
As children he had known.
He pointed to the place
Where his dwelling used to be,
Then turning to the group he cried,
“Now, you’ll remember me!”

Alas! none knew him there;
He pointed to a stone,
On which the name he bore was traced,
A name to them unknown.
It was then the old man wept,
“I am lonely now,” cried he,
“Where I had many friends in youth,
Not one remembers me!”

The old man’s heart seemed broke;
He cried, “Is this my home?
I hoped with friends to end my days,
Alas, that hope is gone!”
He grasped the moss-grown tomb,
“Thou art welcome, Death,” cried he,
“Forgotten now, by all on earth,
Pray God remember me!”

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