All the uniforms were blue, all the swords were bright and new,
When the regiment went marching down the street.
All the men were hale and strong as they proudly moved along
Through the cheers that drowned the music of their feet.
Oh, the music of the feet keeping time to drums that beat,
Oh, the glitter and the splendor of the sight:
As with swords and rifles new, and in uniforms of blue,
The regiment went marching to the fight.
When the Regiment came back all the guns and swords were black,
And the uniforms had faded into gray,
And the faces of the men who marched through that street again
Seemed like faces of the dead who lose their way.
For the dead who lose their way can not look more wan and gray--
Oh, the sorrow and the anguish of the sight.
Oh, the weary lagging feet out of step with drums that beat,
When the Regiment came marching from the fight.
--ELLA WHEELER WILCOX, in Harper's Weekly
New York Times 18 Dec. 1898: SM-5.
Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.
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