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Poems by Murray Poets and Poems About Murray County
North Georgia Scouts
Maurice Thompson

I rode a horse, a dappled bay.
Coal black his mane and tail-
A horse that never needed spur.
Nor curb, nor martingale.

And by my side three others rode,
Sun-tanned, long-haired and grim,
Wild men led on by Edmondson,
Tom Polk, you 've heard of him.

Behind us galloped, four by four
A swarthy, mottled band
Of reckless fellows, chosen from
The bravest in the land.

Whether away on that fair day?
Oh, just a dash of fun.
To speed our horses and keep up
With Tom Polk Edmondson.

Behind our backs we left the hills;
We crossed the Salliquoy:
My right-hand Comrade smiled and said:
"I fished here when a boy. "

Then from the rise at Hogan 's house,
I saw as in a dream
Red-fringed and silver-blue and deep.
The Coosawatte gleam.

A shot rang out! A bullet split
The air so close to me,
I felt the keen hot puff, and then
A roar of musketry.

A leader wind blew from the wood;
We met it at a run;
We sped so fast along the lane
The worn fence panels spun.

A horse went down, a dying face
Scowled darkly at the sky;
A bullet clipped my Comrade's hat.
And lopped the brim awry.

"Come boys; Come on "our leader cried.
Pell mell we struck the line.
My Comrade's pistol spat its balls.
And likewise so did mine.

A swirl of smoke with rifts of fire
Enveloped friend and foe;
Death, so embarrassed, hardly knew
Which way his strokes must go.

The fight closed in on every side.
And tore one spot of ground;
There was not room to swing an arm
Or turn your horse around.

A moment thus and there we broke
The circle of our foes.
Old Hogan, in his doorway, heard
The crunching of our blows.

Then, while we used our pistol butts.
As swords on many a head;
And yet, and yet, down in that wood
We left our leader, dead

So, now you know just how it was
We had our little fun,
Speeding our horses to keep up

With Tom Polk Edmondson.
Published in Century Magazine, 1905.

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