Oh! He's Nothing But A Soldier

'Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,'
But he's coming here tonight,
For I saw him pass this morning,
With his uniform so bright.
He was coming in from picket,
Whilst he sung a sweet refrain,
And he kissed his hand at some one
Peeping through the window pane.
Ah! he rode no dashing charger
'With a black and flowing mane,'
But his bayonet glistened brightly,
As the sun lit up the plain.
No waving plume or feather
Flashed its crimson in the light -
He belonged to the Light Infantry,
And he came to war- to fight.
'Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,'
His trust is in his sword -
To carve his way to glory,
Through the servile Yankee horde.
No pompous pageant heralds him,
No sycophants attend,
In his belt you see his body guard -
His tried and trusty friend.
'Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,'
And a stranger in our land;
His home is in the sunny South,
By the blue Gulf's golden strand.
But I wish I knew his people,
Some little of his past,
For father's always telling me
About our 'social caste'.
'Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,'
But his eyes are very fine,
And I sometimes think, when passing,
They are piercing into mine.
Pshaw! 'He's nothing but a soldier,'
Come, let me be discreet;
But really, for a soldier,
His toilet's very neat.
'Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,'
But last night he came to tea -
What an interesting soldier -
But then, he's rather free.
'Twas two o'clock this morning,
Before he took his leave;
He has my ring - the fellow!
But what's the use to grieve?
He has been again to see us,
The 'gentleman' in grey;
He calls to see us often -
Our house is on his way
At times he sadly seeks the shade
Of yonder grove of trees,
I watched him once - this soldier -
I saw him on his knees.
One day last week I asked him
To tell me of his home.
He answered, pointing to his camp,
'Where'er these brave ones roam.'
I asked him once to tell me
Of his mother, sister dear;
A funeral cortege passed along -
Said he, 'You have them here.'
'Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,'
But this I know right well,
He has a heart of softness
Where tender virtues dwell;
For once when we were talking,
And no one else was near,
I saw him very plainly
Try to hide a startling tear.
We are speaking of Manassas,
Of that first great bloody day,
When a handful of our 'bra'e ones'
Held the Yankee hosts at bay.
'Twas here he lost his aged sire,
While fighting by his side;
He sleeps beneath the crimson turf,
Where roil'd that bloody tide.
'Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,'
But within that eye so clear,
There lurks no craven spirit,
No timid glance of fear;
For though at pity's pleading
It can melt with tender light,
I've seen it flash like lightning
Across the brow of night.
'Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,'
Such as pass us every day.
He calls them 'Ragged Devils,'
But you know that's just his way.
But there is one thing very funny,
One thing I can't explain
That when this soldier goes away,
I wish him back again.
'Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,'
And a stranger yet to fame;
But they tell me in the army,
That the 'Boys' all know his name;
The Yankees, too, have heard it,
They dread his battle shout;
They have no wish to meet him,
This dreaded Southern scout.
'Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,'
Yet you'd call his features good;
That cut he got at West Point,
While fighting under Hood.
He has a halting in his gait,
A trifle in the knee;
He brought it back from Sharpsburg,
Where he went with General Lee.
'Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,'
But his triumphs are not few;
He has seen our glorious battle flag
In all its trials through;
At Seven Pines he followed it,
On the heights at Gaines' Mill;
At Williamsburg, at West Point,
In the smoke of Malvern Hill.
Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,
But, then, its very queer -
I feel somehow when absent
I'd rather have him near.
He's gone to meet the foeman,
To stay his bloody track -
O! Heaven shield the soldier,
O, God, let him come back!
He is back again, this soldier,
With his eyes so deep and clear,
And his voice like falling waters,
Maketh music to my ear.
One empty coat-sleeve dangles,
Where once a stout arm grew,
But this soldier says, in hugging
He has no use for two.
'Oh, he's nothing but a soldier,'
And I know that on his form
He bears the scars of conflict
And of many a battle storm.
But I wouldn't give this soldier,
In his simple, humble home,
For all your perfumed monkeys,
That strut about the town.
He is back again, this soldier;
He is sitting by my side,
Tomorrow, ho! for Texas
With his young Virginia bride.
True, 'he's nothing but a soldier,'
But I'm now his loving wife;
Pledged, through good report, or evil,
To dwell with him through life.

by Anonymous Americas

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