A.C.W.S.
Ltd (UK)
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ALL QUIET ALONG THE POTOMAC

Lyics: Ethel Beers, 1861 Music: John Hewitt, 1863

All quiet along the Potomac, tonight,
Except here and there a stray picket
Is shot as he walks on his beat to and fro,
By a rifleman hid in the thicket.
'Tis nothing: a private or two now and then
Will not count in the news of the battle;
Not an officer lost - only one of the men,
Moaning out, all alone, the death rattle.
All quiet along the Potomac, tonight.

All quiet along the Potomac tonight,
Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming;
And their tents in the rays of the clear autumn moon,
And the light of the camp-fires are gleaming.
A tremulous sigh as the gentle night-wind
Through the forest leaves softly is creeping;
While the stars up above, with their glittering eyes,
Keep guard, o'er the army while sleeping.
All quiet along the Potomac, tonight.

There's only the sound of the lone sentry's tread,
As he tramps from the rock to the fountain,
And thinks of the two in the low trundle bed
Far away in the cot on the mountain.
His musket falls slack, his face, dark and grim,
Grows gentle with memories tender,
As he mutters a prayer for the children asleep
And their mother may Heaven defend her!
All quiet along the Potomac, tonight.

The moon seems to shine as brightly as then
That night, when the love yet unspoken,
Leap'd up to his lips, and when low murmur'd vows,
Were pledg'd to be ever unbroken
Then drawing his sleeve roughly over his eyes,
He dashes off tears that are welling,
And gathers his gun closer up to his breast
As if to keep down the heart swelling.
All quiet along the Potomac, tonight.

He passes the fountain, the blasted pine tree;
And his footstep is lagging and weary;
Yet onward he goes, through the broad belt of light,
Towards the shade of the forest, so dreary.
Hark! was it the night wind that rustled the leaves?
Was it the moonlight so wondrously flashing?
It looked like a rifle ... "Ha! Mary, goodbye!"
And his life blood is ebbing and plashing.
All quiet along the Potomac, tonight.

All quiet along the Potomac tonight -
No sound save the rush of the river,
While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead -
The Picket's off duty forever!


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