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Flowers for our dead!
The delicate wild roses, faintly red;
The valley lily beds, as purely white
As shines their honor in the vernal light;
All blooms that be
As fragrant as their fadeless memory!
By tender hands entwined and garlanded,
Flowers for our dead!

Praise for our dead!
For those that followed and for those that led,
Whether they felt death's burning accolade,
When brothers drew the fratricidal blade,
Or closed undaunted eyes
Beneath the Cuban or Philippine skies !
While waves our brave, bright banner overhead,
Praise for our dead!

Love for our dead!
O hearts that droop and mourn, be comforted !
The darksome path through the abyss of pain,
The final hour of travail not in vain!


For freedom's morning smile
Broadens across the seas from isle to isle.
By reverent lips let this fond word be said:
Love for our dead !



Bring flowers, to strew again
With fragrant purple rain
Of lilacs, and of roses white and red,
The dwellings of our dead-our glorious dead!
Let the bells ring a solemn funeral chime,
And wild war-music bring anew the time

When they who sleep beneath

Were full of vigorous breath.
And in their lusty manhood sallied forth,

Holding in strong right hand

The fortunes of the land, The pride and power and safety of the North! It seems but yesterday The long and proud arrayBut yesterday when e'en the solid rock Shook as with earthquake shockAs North and South, like two huge icebergs, ground Against each other with convulsive bound, And the whole world stood still

To view the mighty war,

And hear the thunderous roar, While sheeted lightnings wrapped each plain and hill.

Alas! how few came back
From battle and from wrack!
Alas! how many lie
Beneath a Southern sky,
Who never heard the fearful fight was done,
And all they fought for, won!
Sweeter, I think, their sleep,
More peaceful and more deep,
Could they but know their wounds were not in

Could they but hear the grand triumphal strain,
And see their homes unmarred by hostile tread.
Ah! let us trust it is so with our dead-
That they the thrilling joy of triumph feel,
And in that joy disdain the foeman's steel.

We mourn for all, but each doth think of one

More precious to the heart than aught besideSome father, brother, husband, or some son,

Who came not back or, coming, sank and died; In him the whole sad list is glorified ! “ He fell 'fore Richmond in the seven long days When battle raged from morn till blood-dewed

eve, And lies there," one pale widowed mourner says,

And knows not most to triumph or to grieve. “My boy fell at Fair Oaks,” another sighs; “And mine at Gettysburg," his neighbor cries,

And that great name each sad-eyed listener thrills. I think of one who vanished when the press Of battle surged along the Wilderness,

And mourned the North upon her thousand hills.

O gallant brothers of the generous South!

Foes for a day, and brothers for all time, I charge you by the memories of our youth,

By Yorkstown's field and Montezuma's clime, Hold our dead sacred, let them quietly rest In your unnumbered vales, where God thought best! Your vines and flowers learned long since to forgive, And o'er their graves a broidered mantle weave; Be you as kind as they are, and the word Shall reach the Northland with each summer bird, And thoughts as sweet as summer shall awake Responsive to your kindness, and shall make Our peace the peace of brothers once again, And banish utterly the days of pain.

And ye, O Northmen! be ye not outdone

In generous thought and deed.
We all do need forgiveness, every one;

And they that give shall find it in their need.
Spare of your flowers to deck the stranger's grave,

Who died for a lost cause;
A soul more daring, resolute, and brave

Ne'er won a world's applause!
(A brave man's hatred pauses at the tomb.)
For him some Southern home was robed in gloom,
Some wife or mother looked, with longing eyes,
Through the sad days and nights, with tears and

Hope slowly hardening into gaunt Despair.
Then let your foeman's grave remembrance share;
For pity a high charm to Valor lends,
And in the realms of Sorrow all are friends.

Yes, bring fresh flowers, and strew the soldier's grave,

Whether he proudly lies

Beneath our Northern skies, Or where the Southern palms their branches wave. Let the bells toll, and wild war-music swell,

And for one day the thought of all the past,

Full of those memories vast-
Come back and haunt us with its mighty spell!
Bring flowers, then, once again,
And strew with fragrant rain
Of lilacs, and of roses white and red,
The dwellings of our dead.



Decoration Day Hymn


Cover them over with beautiful flow'rs,
Deck them with garlands those brothers of ours,
Lying so silent by night and by day,
Sleeping the years of their manhood away.
Give them the meed they have won in the past;
Give them the honors their future forecast;
Give them the chaplets they won in the strife;
Give them the laurels they lost with their life.

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