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I Saw Old General At Bay
by Walt Whitman


I SAW old General at bay;
(Old as he was, his grey eyes yet shone out in battle like stars;)
His small force was now completely hemm'd in, in his works;
He call'd for volunteers to run the enemy's lines--a desperate
emergency;
I saw a hundred and more step forth from the ranks--but two or three
were selected;
I saw them receive their orders aside--they listen'd with care--the
adjutant was very grave;
I saw them depart with cheerfulness, freely risking their lives.