They brought him in at midnight, Across the saddle-bow --Geert of the ripe and chestnut hair, Geert of the sunny brow!
She took a covered pillow, And sheets without a fold;She laid him on his boyish bed -- That bed for ever cold!
The younger children slumbered, The little lamp was lit,And seven they were about the corpse, And silent looked on it.
Six men they stood around it, The widow at the head;And proud her pale and awful face That gazed upon the Dead!
Upon his brow the death-damp, But on his lips a smile,As if he bore not in his breast The cruel shot the while!
Killed in a gallant venture, Killed at the cornet's side,The youngest of the company That in the South did ride!
A man sobbed in the darkness, But the grizzled sergeant said,"The Lord hath given and taken away! Write -- Blessed are the Dead!"
Two men went out in silence, With shovel, pick, and spade,And by a lonely koppie-bush A soldier's bed they made.
In sight of home they laid him: And when the morning sunLooked down upon the desert-plain, Six horsemen rode alone.