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Parodies
 
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HARD TACK
by
Dr. William Taylor (1863)

The shades of night were falling fast,
As through our picket lines there passed
A youth, encased in rags and lice,
Who bore a scroll with this device

His eyes were sunk, his feet beneath
Passed from a nameless leather sheath,
And in a hollow voice he sung
With mournful tone and trembling tongue,
Hard Tack:

Oh stay, the Commissary said,
To-morrow we'll have lots of bread,
The Youth, he slowly shut one eye
And onward passing, heaved a sigh,
Hard Tack:

Beware of Dobson, Wells, and Jones,
Instead of beef who give you bones,
This was the butchers last good night,
The youth replied far out of sight,
Hard Tack:

At break of day, as several boys
From Maine, New York, and Illinois
Were eating "slap jacks" through the air
They heard the accent of despair,
Hard Tack:

The youth was found and by his side
An empty haversack was tied,
Still holding in his hand of ice
That banner of a strange device,
Hard Tack:

There in the twilight, dark and gray,
A living skeleton he lay,
And from a place he dare not tell,
There came one last unearthly YELL!
Hard Tack.
 
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