'Twas midnight, and the soldier took His lone and quiet march; The moon's bright rays fell gloriously Upon the forest arch; And through that forest's dreary gloom, Full twenty leagues away, The army of the enemy Waited the dawn of day. The watcher listened, for he heard The wild-wolf's dismal howl, A crashing of the underbrush Betrayed his wary prowl; Yet where the branches thickest weave, The soldier took his way; He started--for a band of foes Had seized him as their prey. He was a captive--one strong hand Upon his lips did lie, While in hoarse whispers rung their words, "Betray us and you die." Warm love was nestling at his heart, Warm life was in his veins, One dream of love, of life, of home, One dream of captive chains. 'Twas but a moment, and he thought Of those who slept around, Safe and secure while he kept watch Upon the sentry ground. 'Twas but a moment, and a flush Passed o'er his cheek and brow; His voice rang on the midnight air, "Auvergne! Auvergne! the foe!" The swords that in the moonlight shone Upon his bosom rushed; And from the dauntless soldier's heart Life's streamlets quickly gushed. Yet ere his beaming eye was closed, He saw his brethren's lance; Trampling down bush and brake, he heard The cavalry of France. He felt strong arms around him placed, He saw their princely train; A nation's thanks were in his ears,-- He had not died in vain. They laid him, while the host pursued The fast retreating foe, Beneath that glorious flag for which He laid himself so low. O! may it be that when, if e'er, So dire a fate we claim, And through our country loud resounds War's fearful, shuddering name-- Then many our hearts and households yield Then may our foemen learn, We have such hearts as sleep beneath The banner of Auvergne.