THE FIREMAN’S GONG.
The following lines were dedicated by the composer, John J. Barry, to the memory of Captain C. B. Davis, of Fire Company No. 1 of Memphis, who was killed at the fire there on April 22:
Hark, in the still air pealing! What sound so shrill and strong?
Hark! there is a clatter of horses that respond, ‘Tis the “Fireman’s Gong.”
Out from their slumbering couches, every man to his place,
On the “truck,” the “ engine ” and “ carriage,” eager the danger to face.
Five seconds and the prancing steeds are harnessed for the fray;
The ” boys ” are mounted, the whip is cracked, like the wind they are away.
The fire is reached, the ” hose ” laid out, the “ engine ” whistles shrill,
And’the Pipemcn at the 44 nozzle ” are working with a will.
” Onward, boys,” the Captain shouts. 44 Light the hose, bring the ‘nozzle’ to the fire.”
Sec the lapping flames leap upward ; but brave hearts never tire.
‘* Follow me; tear no danger. Bring the stream to the right.
Si« ;idy, boys; the flames are smothered, we will conquer the fire to-night.”
” Steady,” shouts the Captain, and the firemen, brave and true,
.Stand to their post of duty as on’y brave men do—
( hiring nought for danger, pressing side by side,
On where the flames leap highest, where many before have died.
A crash ! my God, ’tis the tottering wall tumbling from its bed—
And the Captain, brave and fearless, underneath lies dead.
His comrade lies beside him, mangled and bleeding there,
And a wail goes up from the midnight crowd asking God their lives to spare.
And their wail goes round to their comrades doing duty in other places,
And onward they rush to the rescue with white and pallid faces ;
And they drag from beneath the fallen wall, that fell from overhead,
I he mangled form of the Plpeman and the gallant Captain dead.
And their comrades, who a moment past braved danger, had no fear,
Gather ’round the dead and wounded with many a sorrowing tear.
And they bear them in their arms back from the surging throng,
I ” where a moment ago the gallant men had answered the “ Firemen’s Gong.”
No more will the sound of the midnight “ hell,” as it rings so weird and strong, Awaken again the slumbering spirit of the brave and dauntless gone.
No more will he cheer his comrades, or bravely lead them on,
For his spirit is soaring, heavenward, summoned by the Almighty Gong.