Monday, May 7, 2018

Confederate Dead


From the broad and calm Potomac, 

To the Rio Grande's waves, 
Have the brave and noble fallen — 

And the earth is strewn with graves, 
In the vale and on the hill side, 

Through the wood and by the stream, 
Has the martial pageant faded. 

Like the vision of a dream. 

Where the reveille resounded. 

And the stirring call'to arms, 
on the downy heads of clover

To the wind's mesmeric charms; 
Where the heels of trampling squadrons 

Beat to dust the mountain pass, 
Hang the dew-drops fragile crystals 

From the slender stems of grass. 

Where the shocks of meeting armies 

Roused the air in raging weaves, 
And with sad and hollow groanings, 

Echoed earth's deep hidden caves ; 
Where the cries of crushed and dying 

Pierced the elemental strife, 
Where lay Death in sick'ning horror 

'Neath the maddened rush of life ; 

Quiet now reigns, sweet and pensive, 
All is hushed in dreamless rest. 

And the pitying arms of Nature 
Holds our heroes on her breast ;
Shield them well, oh tender mother, 
While the winds in tender breath 

Whisper us, the sad survivors. 
Of their victory in death. 

What though no stately column, 

Their cherished names may raise, 
To dim the eye and move the lip 

With gratitude and praise. 
The blue sky, hung with bannered clouds, 

Their solemn dome shall be, 
All Heaven's choiring winds shall chant 

The anthem of the free. 

The Spring with vine-clad arms shall clasp, 

Their hillocked resting places, 
And summer roses droop above 

With flashed and dewy faces ; 
Fair daises, rayed and crowned, shall spring 

Like stars from out their dust, 
And look to kindred stars on high 

With eyes of patient trust. 

And vainly shall the witling's lips 

Assail with envious dart 
The fame of our heroic dead, 

Whose stronghold is the heart — 
The nation's heart — not wholly crushed, 

Though each throb be in pain ; 
For Life and Hope will still survive, 

Where Love and Faith remain. 

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