Poem for Johnnie
LITTLE JOHNNIE. BY W. S. PETERSON. SofUy breathed the coming May. On that Southern Sabbath day. -. In that genial, sunny clime May-days come before their time. Earth and sky were bright and blet On the holy day of rest. But no sound of prayer and pealra Iiose upon the Sabbath's calm. And the morning sun looked down On a mob-beleagured town, Horsemen galloped here and there. And their curses filial the air. Soon a hundred ruffians yell Round the home where heroes dwell: Brave Judge Chiaolm, scorning fear Though the wolves of hell were near. And Cornelia, heroine rare, Fair and young, and brave as tain little Johnnie, aged thirteen, Bravest boy the world has seen ! When the Judge to jail was led, "HI go, too," brave Johnnie said. Sire and son walked hand in hand Through the threat'ning ruffian band. And within the prison gate Johnnie shared his father's Cite. When the mob, with savage yell On their helpless victims fell, Johnnie stood and ikltcred not In the furious storm of shot Stood beside bis sister there On the splintered, bloody stair Held the door, and kept at bay Fiends who would his lather slay, Till the leader of the band Shot away his little hand ! Then, to save his sire from harm, He stretched out his shattered arm, Sprang before the powder flame Tlial toward his lather came, And received in his own form The full fury of the storm,- Till Ills body, lorn with lead, At his lather's feet fell dead ! When he to his grave was borne Few there was for him to mourn. Mississippi, murder-wild, Mourned not for her noblest child. Xot a hymn or prayer was heard. Priest nor preacher spoke a word. Only she who gave him birth Sigh'd the sad words, "Earth to earth." Only his own mother wept Where her darling hero slept. But his little grave shall yet With a Nation's tears be wet. And through all the coming years, With their eyes bedimmed by tears. Mothers to their sons shall tell How heroic Johnnie fell. Storied page and poet's song Shall his praises still prolong: And while Love and Valor live, Men to Johnnie's name shall give The iirst place on history's page With the heroes of the age. Johxxie Chisolm, aged thikteex, Bravest boy the world iias seex! DeKalb, Kemper Co, Miss, April 23. t to BY W. S. PETERSON.