Collected by M.C. Parler and Electa Smith Transcribed by Linda Humphrey
Sung by Bea Jones Rt.1 Springdale, Ark. Feb. 6, 1964
Reel 437 Item 8
Just before the last fore charge,
Two soldiers drew their reins,
The touch of hands and parting words That they might not meet again.
One had mild blue eyes and sunny hair,
"Twas nineteen a month ago,
Rosy cheeks and childish brow;
He was only a boy you know.
The other was tall, dark, daring and proud, Whose faith in this world was dimm;
He only trusted more in those Who were all the world to him.
Today they looked into each other's eyes In the face of the awful doom.
The tall dark man was the first to speak, Saying, "Charley, my time has come."
We'll ride into this battle together,
But you'll ride out alone.
Now promise a little more trouble you'll take For me when I'm dead and gone."
I have a fair face on my breast That I'll wear into this fight,
With deep blue eyes and sunny hair And face like the morning light.
"The morning light she gave to me To lighten my lonely life;
So little have I cared for the frowns of fate, Since she promised to be my wife.
"Write to her, Charley, when I'm gone;
Send back the fair one's face.
Just write and tell her how I died,
And where is my resting place."Item 8 (continued)
"Just tell her I'll meet her in the borderland Of earth and heaven between;
Until I meet her over there,
It won't be long, I mean."
The tears were deep in the eyes of the boy;
His voice was low with pain.
"I'll do my comrade's parting wish If I ride back again."
"But if you ride back and I am left,
Will you do as much for me?
I have a mother tohear the news;
Write to her tenderly."
"One after another she has lost;
She has buried her husband and son,
And I am the last and when my country called,
She cheered and sent me on."
"She's waiting at home like a praying saint,
Her pale face wild with woe;
It will break her heart when she hears the news; I'll meet her soon, I know."
Just then the order came for charge;
In an instant, hand touched hand;
They drew their reins and away they dashed,
Two brave and devoted bands.
They rode together to the brow of the hill Where the soldiers were stationed well;
Past clouds and drifts and burning sands That cheered them as they fell.
And when they turned from that awful fight,
A fight that they never could gain,
And all of them that death had spore Rode quietly back again.
But among the dead in the fields there lay The boy with the curlyhair,
The tall dark man that had rode by his side In death lay sleeping there.
There's no one to write to the blue-eyed girl The words that her lover had said,
And the mother at home waits for her boy,
She will learn that he is dead.
But she will never know the words he spoke To cheer her in her pain,
Until she crosses the river of death And stands by his side again.
(Song sung in their family in Emminence, Mo.)
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