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Ballad: "The Casto Hole"

Far in the woods of Upper Tug
We wrap old Union in a rug.
Where Nicholas reads his Union Roll
And Rallies round the Casto Hole.

The Casto Hole is a cavern deep
Where Union men can quiet sleep,
There all their war-like plans unfold
While forted in the Casto Hole.

There you can hail the Union flag,
For such they call a striped rag.
Some two feet square stuck on a pole
In the region of the Casto Hole.

Union, Union is their song,
It's two feet broad and four feet long.
Hold up your heads and sing it "bold"
A hundred feet in the Casto Hole.

A lame-leg miller took afright
For Upper Tug he cut one night.
His fears were far beyond control
So he bolted for the Casto Hole.

Since Wise is gone, they now know fear
Except at night, lest they might hear
Some demon howl, or ghost of old
Prowling around the Casto Hole.

A southern scout - horrors profound,
That name, it shakes the very ground;
That name's a thunderbolt to Joel--
The general of the Casto Hole.

But, oh, the terrors of a scout
To those poor devils crowded out.
In their retreat, headlong they roll
Chock full they fill the Casto Hole.

Go to their houses, give a call,
There reigns a solemn silence, all.
But take their tracks, however cold,
They'll lead you to the Casto Hole.

No danger near--see how they prance?
Like Indians in an Indian dance--
Ignorant as Indians, 'pon my soul,
These warriors of the Casto Hole.

Lord, calm their fears, thy grace is good;
Call these scared devils from the wood,
Call them, like sheep, unto thy fold -
Those heroes of the Casto Hole.

Poor old Joel, he died of late,
And took his flight to Heaven's Gate.
St. Peter knew the poor old soul,
And kicked them back to the Casto Hole.

Down from the pearly gates he flies,
A howling demon of the skies.
A ghastly ghost, black, grim, and cold--
Came sliding back to the Casto Hole.

On terra-firma, safe again,
Young, yelping devils, in this train
To the Old Rogues' March they beat a roll
And escorted him back to the Casto Hole.

Old wizard Nicholas was on hand
In the witches department, holds command
He sped his signs from pole to pole,
For all witches to meet him in the Casto Hole.

That great magician of the North
Nods, earthquakes shock all round the earth;
Conjures the light from his northern pole
To illuminate the Casto Hole.

Witches and wizards and goblins grim,
Assembled there and were sworn in.
Presiding, sat the ghost of Joel--
At a Union meeting in the Casto Hole.

The traitors’ ghosts, they too were there.
Old Hull and Arnold took a share.
All rogues were there, number untold--
All refugees in the Casto Hole.

 . . . 

A final racist verse has been omitted.

Source: Elihugh Powers


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