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THE CONQUERED BANNER.
BY ABRAM J. RYAN.
[This poem appeared very soon after the surrender of the Confederate armies, and was probably the first, as it is the finest, poetical expression of reverent regret for the Lost Cause, without any touch of bitterness in its loss. The author was a Catholic priest, who wrote a number of poems of merit, though none that appealed so strongly as this one does to the generous sympathy of the victor with the sorrow of the vanquished. The author was born in Norfolk, Va., August 15, 1839, and died in Louisville, Ky, April 22, 1886.-EDITOR.]
URL that Banner, for 't is weary,
Round its staff 't is drooping dreary :
Furl it, fold it,-it is best ;
Tbe Conquered Banner
And its foes now scorn and brave it :
Furl it, hide it,-let it rest!
Take the Banner down ! 't is tattered ;
Over whom it floated high.
Now must furl it with a sigh!
Furl that Banner-furl it sadly ;
Swore it should forever wave--
O’er their freedom, or their grave !
Furl it !—for the hands that grasped it,
Cold and dead are lying low;
Of its people in their woe;
For though conquered, they adore it-
Now to furl and fold it so !
Furl that Banner ! True, 't is gory,
Though its folds are in the dust!
Furl its folds though now we must!
Furl that Banner, softly, slowly ;
For it droops above the dead;
For its people's hopes are fled. (Southern.]
NTO a ward of the whitewashed halls
Where the dead and the dying lay, Wounded by bayonets, shells, and balls,
Somebody's darling was borne one daySomebody's darling, so young and brave;
Wearing yet on his sweet pale faceSoon to be hid in the dust of the grave
The lingering light of his boyhood's grace.
Matted and damp are the curls of gold
Kissing the snow of that fair young brow Pale are the lips of delicate mould
Somebody's darling is dying now.
Brush his wandering waves of gold;