Upon a daring ride;
Though never the lad come back again
With the good that will betide.
"I will send a letter to Beauregard,"
The Colonel slowly said;
"The bearer dies at the pickets' line,
But the letter shall be read
When the pickets find it for the Chief,
In the brave hand of the dead."
"Ready I ride to the Chief for the sign,"
Said little Dan O'Shea,
"Though never I come from the picket's line,
But a faded suit of grey:
Yet over my death will the road be safe,
And the regiment march away."
"In a mother's name, I bless thee, lad,"
The Colonel drew him near:
"But first in the name of God," said Dan,
"And then is my mother's dear---
Her own good lips that taught me well,
With the Cross of Christ no fear."
Quickly he rode by valley and hill,
On to the outpost line,
Till the pickets arise by wall and mound,
And the levelled muskets shine;