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Lo! the moon ascending, Up from the east the silvery round moon, Beautiful over the house-tops, ghastly, phantom moon,
Immense and silent moon.
I see a sad procession, And I hear the sound of coming full-keyed bugles, All the channels of the city streets they're flooding,
As with voices and with tears.
I hear the great drums pounding,
Strikes me through and through.
For the son is brought with the father, (In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell, Two veterans, son and father, dropt together,
And the double grave awaits them).
Now nearer blow the bugles, And the drums strike more convulsive, And the daylight o'er the pavement quite has faded,
And the strong dead-march enwraps me.
In the eastern sky up-buoying, The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumined, ('Tis some mother's large transparent face
In heaven brighter growing).
O strong dead-march you please me! O moon immense with your silvery face you soothe O my soldiers twain! O my veterans passing to burial!
What I have I also give you.
The moon gives you light,
My heart gives you love.
OUR DEAD SOLDIERS
BY FRANCIS A. WALKER
We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. For one, I have never liked, even from the first, to see, as so often is the case, the flag at half-mast upon Memorial Day. But if ever it was appropriate it long since ceased to be so. After so many years, tears no longer befit the place where the soldier lies in his last sleep. The bitter grief which their untimely deaths brought to so many hearts, Time, the all-healer, has mercifully soothed and softened into pathetic memories and pious veneration. Many who then mourned in all pain and passion of bereavement have themselves followed after, and are now at peace where there is no more sorrow nor crying, no more war and fighting, no more absence nor parting
But while the reason for personal grief has been steadily diminishing with the lapse of time and with the passing away of those who once mourned, the reason for praising these men and honoring them in the eyes of the nation has been steadily increasing, as we have come to see more and more clearly the vast and ever-growing significance of that which they did. When our dead soldiers were brought home from battlefield or hospital to be laid in quiet graves, no man in all the land, not even he whose great prophetic soul conducted the nation to its final deliverance, could possibly rise far enough above the clamor and the strife, the anguish and the agony of the time, or peer far enough into the cloudy and threatening future to see the half of what the dullest of us now sees of the greatness of the blessings which were to be purchased by those most pathetic sacrifices.
What they died intent on witnessing, we have lived to see,—the nation redeemed by the blood of its loyal sons, disenthralled from an ignoble bondage, purified of a loathsome leprosy, healed of what seemed a fatal breach among its members --rise, glad, proud, free, triumphant, jubilant, to address itself to the remaining problems of its existence, to do its appointed work for its own citizens and for all humanity, and to take its rightful place among the nations of the earth with a power not till then suspected, with a true national purpose that before had been doubtful, hesitating, and divided, with a real national character that had before been unformed, inconsistent, and weak.
The nation they saved is in a high sense another nation from that which they went to save, which they died hoping to save.
It has at last a definite purpose. That purpose is resolute, considerate, peaceful, beneficent. It has at last an established character. That character is strong, loyal, acquisitive, enterpris
ing. The nation which amid general gloom and grief entered into that giant struggle, was at the best but in the second rank among the powers of the earth. The stain of human slavery defiled its flag and disfigured its escutcheon. Its industrial system was paralyzed along one entire side by laws which made labor dishonorable and defaced the image of God in man. The shameful sweat of unrequited toil and the poisonous blood that dripped from the lash were slowly sterilizing one-half of its soil. Between the two sections, with their antagonistic civilizations, political passions had long been making ever deeper and deeper divisions.
The nation which emerged from that struggle free, victorious, and forever united has already assumed the primacy among the nations; and its power for good, alike to its own citizenship and to all human kind, has scarcely yet been intimated to our feeble, faltering faith. The glorious mission to which it is called is to illustrate to the world the blessings of peace and liberty and educated labor. It was to achieve this mighty deliverance, it was to work this marvelous transformation that our brave soldiers died. Honor, then, immortal honor, to their memories! Forever green be the graves in which they shall lie among a grateful people rejoicing in the benefits won by their heroic sacrifices and untimely death!
THE UNKNOWN DEAD
BY HENRY TIMROD
The rain is plashing on my sill,