Killed At The Ford.


    He is dead, the beautiful youth,
    The heart of honor, the tongue of truth,
    He, the life and light of us all,
    Whose voice was blithe as a bugle-call,
    Whom all eyes followed with one consent,
    The cheer of whose laugh, and whose pleasant word,
    Hushed all murmurs of discontent.

    Only last night, as we rode along,
    Down the dark of the mountain gap,
    To visit the picket-guard at the ford,
    Little dreaming of any mishap,
    He was humming the words of some old song:
    "Two red roses he had on his cap,
    And another he bore at the point of his sword."

    Sudden and swift a whistling ball
    Came out of a wood, and the voice was still;
    Something I heard in the darkness fall,
    And for a moment my blood grew chill;
    I spake in a whisper, as he who speaks
    In a room where some one is lying dead;
    But he made no answer to what I said.

    We lifted him up to his saddle again,
    And through the mire and the mist and the rain
    Carried him back to the silent camp,
    And laid him as if asleep on his bed;
    And I saw by the light of the surgeon's lamp
    Two white roses upon his cheeks,
    And one, just over his heart, blood-red!

    And I saw in a vision how far and fleet
    That fatal bullet went speeding forth,
    Till it reached a town in the distant North,
    Till it reached a house in a sunny street,
    Till it reached a heart that ceased to beat
    Without a murmur, without a cry;
    And a bell was tolled, in that far-off town,
    For one who had passed from cross to crown,
    And the neighbors wondered that she should die.


facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest

Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add Killed At The Ford. to your own personal library.

Return to the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; King Trisanku

Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson