Come, Let Us Die Like Men

Original Text: 
Voices of the Border; comprising songs of the field, songs of the bower, Indian melodies, and promiscuous poems (New York: Hurd & Houghton, 1867): 74-5.
1Roll out the banner on the air,
2  And draw your swords of flame,
3The gathering squadrons fast prepare
4  To take the field of fame!
5In serried ranks, your columns dun
6  Close up along the glen;
7If we must die ere set of sun,
8  Come, let us die like men.
9We seek the foe from night till morn,
10  A foe we do not see,
11Go, roll the drum and wind the horn,
12  And tell him here are we.
13In idle strength we wait the prey
14  That lurks by marsh and fen;
15But should he strike our lines to-day,
16  Come, let us die like men.
17'Tis not to right a kinsman's wrongs,
18  With bristling arms we come,
19Our sisters sing their household songs
20  Far in a peaceful home.
21We battle for a stranger's hall,
22  The savage in his den,
23If in such struggle we must fall,
24  Come, let us die like men.
25Remember, boys, that Mercy's dower
26  Is life to him who yields,
27Remember that the hand of power
28  Is strongest when it shields:
29Keep honor, like your sabers, bright,
30  Shame coward fear .- and then
31If we must perish in the fight --
32  Oh, we will die like men!
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004