Skedaddle

The shades of night were falling fast,
As through a Southern village passed
A youth, who bore, not over nice,
A banner with the gay device,
          Skedaddle!
 
His hair was red, his toes beneath
Peeped, like an acorn from its sheath,
While with a frightened, voice he sang
A burden strange to Yankee tongue,
          Skedaddle!
 
He saw no household fire where he
Might warm his tod or hominy;
Beyond the Cordilleras shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,
          Skedaddle!
 
"Oh! stay," a cullered pusson said,
"An' on dis bossom res' your hed!"
The octoroon she winked her eye,
But still he answered, with a sigh,
          Skedaddle!
 
"Beware McClellan, Buell, and Banks,
Beware of Halleck's deadly ranks!".
This was the planter's last Good Night;
The chap replied, far out of sight,
          Skedaddle!
 
At break of day, as several boys
from Maine, New York and Illinois
Were moving Southward, in the air
They heard these accents of despair,
          Skedaddle!
 
A chap was found and at his side
A bottle, showing how he died,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,
          Skedaddle!
 
There in the twilight, thick and gray,
Considerably played out he lay;
And through the vapor, gray and thick,
A voice fell like a rocket-stick,
          Skedaddle!

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Moore, Frank, Anecdotes, Poetry and Incidents of the War: North and South; 1860 1865, collected and abridged, New York: Publication House, 1867

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