The Big Bay Horse
'Twas a magnificent battle the General said
As he climbed on his big bay horse.
You'll take care of the dead and wounded?
The First Sergeant said, Of course.
The General smiled and waved his sword
And he rode off into the night.
He was home to the wife and kids
To recount this glorious fight.
The Private shoveled dirt on Murphy,
And sadly tried to recall,
What he looked like when he had a face,
Before he got hit with that Minié ball.
See that the men get hot water tonight
Said First Sergeant to the cook.
It's been a long and hellish day
And I know how we must look.
The General arrived at his sumptuous home
And ordered his horse be put away.
You clean him well and rub him down
And see he has plenty of hay.
Be sure and water him well
And give him plenty of feed.
It's going to be very cold tonight
Give him all the blankets he may need.
The First Sergeant took the troops
And collected the wounded men.
He wished he had a blanket or two
So he could cover them.
There was nothing to eat but a little stale bread
They never complained, of course.
They were, alas, just fighting men
Not the General's big bay horse.
by Harvey Thomas Sampson
... who is a former Marine, later retired from the U.S. Army, now
writing freelance with poems published in Tale
Spinner, Julien's Journal, and on the
Cowboy Poietry website.