Monday, May 16, 2011

Decoration Day

Softly the snows of the winter have covered
Graves that we garland with blossoms to-day;
Lovingly o'er them the grasses are greening,
Smiling in beauty to welcome the May.
Prayers have been answered, and hopes have been
Chills of the April and winds of the March
Faded the blue of the violet's petals,
Blighted the buds of the maple and larch.
Yet in thanksgiving we mingle our voices,
While a low murmur of anguish and pain
Blendeth forever with all our rejoicing,
Soundeth its wail through our gladsomest strain.
O'er us the skies of the spring-time are bending,
Arching above us their tremulous blue;
O'er us one flag in its beauty is floating,
Back to the heavens reflecting their blue--
Starry-gemmed azure and bands of the sunset.
Bars of the moonlight in silvery sheen,
Chrism of blood for its deep consecration,
Baptism fearful by priesthood unseen.
Mustering bugle and thunder of cannon
Challenge our answering echoes no more.
Now on death's camping grounds meet we as
From the far West to the orient shore.
'Neath the green tents with their curtains of grasses,
Broidered with gold by the sun and the rain,
Rests there an army no bugle can rally,
Never reveille can summon again.

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