Saturday, November 23, 2013

"At Gettysburg" by Benjamin F. Leggett (1913)

At Gettysburg.


This is the field of the sacred dead;

This is the field where valor led;

Here they wrestled, brave foe with foe,

Half of a hundred years ago.

To-day on valley and slope and hill

The voice of battle is hushed and still,

And tenderly on the earth's green breast

The brave are pillowed in dreamless rest.

Afar o'er the vision of slope and wold

Look how the tide of battle rolled;

From Round Top down to the Green Ridge spread,

Where sleep in peace the hamlet's dead.

From the hidden clefts of Devil's Den,

Where death reached out for the lives of men,

Over wood and field where shell and ball

Chipped and shattered the old stone wall.

By orchard and wheatfield, creek and run

By Culp's Hill white in the noonday sun,

Till fierce and wild in the battery's breath

The last red charge in the Valley of Death.

Then cloud and mist and night came down

Over the wasted field and town,

And the pitying rain on upturned faces

Tenderly cleansed war's crimson traces.

Through cloud and mist as a fleeing ghost,

The wild retreat of a shattered host,

While storm and mirk from the patient stars

Folded the vision of death and scars.

But the days to come the ages through

Will keep their memory—Gray and Blue;

And here on the field of the fateful years

We honor the brace with love and tears.

        Ward, Pa.

Troy Times. November 12, 1913: 12 col 1.

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