Forth from its scabbard, pure and bright,
Flashed the sword of Lee!
Far in the front of the deadly fight,
High o'er the brave in the cause of Right,
Its stainless sheen, like a beacon light,
Led us to Victory.
Out of its scabbard, where, full long,
It slumbered peacefully,
Roused from its rest by the battle's song,
Shielding the feeble, smiting the strong,
Guarding the right, avenging the wrong,
Gleaned the sword of Lee.
Forth from its scabbard, high in the air
Beneath Virginia's sky--
And they who saw it gleaming there,
And knew who bore it, knelt to sear
That where that sword led they would dare
To follow --and to die.
Out of its scabbard! Never hand
Waved sword from stain as free,
Nor purer sword led braver band
Nor braver bled for a brighter land
Nor brighter land had a cause so grand,
Nor cause a chief like Lee!
Forth from its scabbard! How we prayed
That sword might victory be;
And when our triumph was delayed,
and many heart grew sore afraid,
We still hoped on while gleamed the blade
Of noble Robert Lee.
Forth from its scabbard all in vain
Bright flashed the sword of Lee;
'Tis shrouded now in its sheath again,
It sleeps the sleep of our noble slain,
Defeated, yet without stain,
Proudly and peacefully.