In a quiet hospital ward an old soldier is dying.
A young hospital orderly sits by his side. As the
dying man gasps a few words the notes of Taps float
in the open window.
"Fades the light ... and afar ... goeth day, cometh night ..."
"Yes, it's almost finished ... my hitch is done
I've done my duty ... I've known some friends.
It was well worthwhile ... I've no regrets.
I hate to leave the Army but my discharges comes
'From Higher Authority' than my own C. O.
Seven hash marks. Son: will you show as much?
And all my characters were 'Excellent'!
"And a star ... guideth all ..."
"I had my star, too, not in cash
But the flaunting of a bit of color at sunset
I ain't talked about it much, a man don't talk
About the things he feels. I've loved it though ...
"Leadeth all ... to ... their ... rest."
"Adios, Kid! I'm done ... one thing though ...
Tell that recruit in my squadroom to strai ...
The bugler lights a cigarette and throws away the match.
TenEyck Van Deusen