Buena Vista Battlefield

Buena Vista Battlefield

On Buena Vista Battlefield
A dying soldier lay
His thoughts were on his mountain home
Some thousand miles away
Hi called his comrade to his side
For he had to say
In briefest words to those who were
Some thousand miles away.

My father, comrade, you will tell
About this bloody fray
My country’s flag, you’ll say to him
Was safe with me today
I make a pillow of it now
On which to lay my head
A winding sheet you’ll make of it
When I am with the dead.

I know ‘twill grieve his inmost soul
To think I never more
Will sit with him beneath the oak
That shades the cottage door
But tell that time-worn patriot
That, mindful of him fame
Upon this bloody battlefield
I sullied not his name.

My mother’s form is with me now
Her will is in my ear
And drop by drop as flows my blood
So flows from her the tear
And oh, when you shall tell to her
The tidings of this day
Speak softly, comrade, softly speak
What you may have to say.

Speak not to her in blighting words
The lighting news you bear
The cords of life might snap too soon
So, comrade, have a care
I am her only, cherished child
But tell her that I died
Rejoicing that she taught me young
To take my country’s side.

But, comrade, there’s one more
She’s gentle as a fawn
She lives upon the sloping hill
That overlooks the lawn
That lawn where I shall never more
Got forth with her in merry mood
To gather wild-wood flowers.

Tell her when death was on my brow
And life receding fast
Her looks, her form was with me then
Were with me to the last.
On Buena Vista’s blood field
Tell I dying lay
And that I knew she thought of me
Some thousand miles away.