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Gaking a Message Ghrough

N army waiting anxiously,

With alternate hopes and fears,
To see what they can do;-

With communication all cut off,
Who'll take a message through?

Three men with nerve and stalwart frames,

Who were loyal, brave and true, Were chosen from that motley crowd,

To take a message through.

The road was guarded, here and there,

With pickets, scouts, and batteries, too;

So they must expect naught else but death

If they try to take a message through!

The engine was cleaned and prepared for the

trip, Till her sound little works looked bright

and new;

And now for the cause she would do her

best, And that was all that an engine could do.

They bid farewell, then mounted the cab;

No one would choose their work to do, But the life of an army was at stake

They'll die, or take a message through!

And then from the midst of that silent crowd

They slowly moved away, And soon they came to a well-known spot

Where a rebel battery lay.

a

Then missiles of death were hurled at them;

'Twas a storm of shot and shell and grape;

TAKING A MESSAGE THROUGH.

53

They cared not how or where they fell,

So they hit in any shape.

“More fire!" was the word from the engineer,

“We must try those irons to miss;For if the rebs should hit their mark,

We'll fire no more in this!”

They passed by battery number one;

Their loss was small, as they could tell: To them it was a useless piece of brass,

And left by the wayside where it fell.

One battery was passed but there were two

more.

The shrieking iron then filled the air! “Fill up the furnace, or we are done

There's no hope but in despair!"

Just then a shell—a monster-struck them, Crushed through the cab, broke the fire

man's arm; He groaned “who'll fire the rest of the trip?"

Your comrade, for that shell has done him

no harm.

“They're safe!" they said, with a sigh of re

lief; They'd passed their last works, their road

now was clear, But the fireman groaned “we ain't through

with it yet;

The worst is to come—they are following,

I fear!”

They looked at the man, and thought he was

crazed; But listning intently found out he was

right. They had pulled out the engine they passed

on the track; Now they were chasing them—almost in

sight!

The furnace was kept to its highest heat,
Till the boiler wheazed and groaned for

breath;

TAKING A MESSAGE THROUGH.

55

The wheels spun around upon the track

It seemed like sure and certain death!

"More fire, more fire!” said the engineer.

“They're gaining on us fast!” he cried. And then he opened the furnace door,

And cramed it full from side to side.

"Is there naught else that we can do?

Try something quick to stop their speed! Let's throw a bar across the track!”

To which they quickly all agreed.

Again they came with redoubled speed!

"Here, throw a coat across the track!" The coat was caught—but I shrink to tell,

'Twas only a moment it kept them back.

Again they come, fierce and faster than

before, The engine emitting great clouds of smoke. Just then they knew not what to do,

When thus the thoughtful fireman spoke:

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