Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A touching poem

Re-post NamSouth 2007

Mrs. Mary A. Townsend found a grave of a soldier in Stribling's Spring, Virginia, shortly after the war, and wrote this:

Far up the lonely mountain side my wandering footsteps led,
The moss lay thick beneath my feet, the pine sighed overhead.
The trace of a dismantled fort lay up the forest nave,
And in the shadow near my path I saw a soldier's grave.

The bramble wrestled with the weed upon the lowly mound,
The simple headboard, rudely writ, had rotted to the ground;
I raised it with a reverent hand, from dust its words to clear,
But time had blotted all but these "A Georgia Volunteer."

I saw the toad and scaly snake from tangled covert start,
And hide themselves among the weeds above the dead man's heart;
But undisturbed, in sleep profound, unheeding there he lay;
His coffin but the mountain soil, his shroud Confederate gray.

I heard the Shenandoah roll along the vale below.
I saw the Alleghenies rise toward the realms of snow;
The Valley Campaign rose to mind its leader's name and then,
I knew the sleeper had been one of Stonewall Jackson's men.

What fights he fought, what wounds he bore, are all unknown to fame;
Remember, on his lowly grave, there is not even a name!
But he fought well and bravely, too, and held his country dear,
We know, else he had never been a
"A Georgia Volunteer."

Roll, Shenandoah, proudly roll, adown the rocky glen,
Above thee lies the grave of one of Stonewall Jackson's men.
Beneath the cedar and the pine in solitude austere,
Unknown, unnamed, forgotten, lies a
"A Georgia Volunteer."