Friday, May 23, 2014

"A Memorial Day Ode" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1915)

A Memorial Day Ode.


Hark! Martial music fills the air,

        The muddled drum doth beat;

The huge procession banners bear

        Along the village street,

Into the city of the dead,

Where, in his lowly, narrow bed,

        The honored veteran-soldier sleeps;

The man who shed his blood for us,

Who went through fire and flood for us—

        For him his country weeps.

Upon his grave are garlands laid

        And posy-wreaths are strewn,

Fresh from the woodland's leafy shade

        And gardens of the town;

But, more impressive e'en than flowers

And blossoms from the orchard bowers,

        A starry ensign, planted there,

Doth wave: "What is it?" List to me:

It is the flag of victory—

        The flag "without compare!"

Around the monument they meet,

        Their praises to bequeathe;

Their panegyrics they repeat,

        The grave unknown they wreaths.

Stirred by his patriotic theme

The orator pours forth a stream

        Of heartfelt eloquence sublime!

A grateful song of praise doth rise,

Like incense-cloud into the skies,

        As it doth heavenward climb.

Their guns the Sons of Veterans fire;

        The bugler blows his "taps;"

Lo! glory's halo doth attire

        The scene that fame enwraps!

The huge procession forms again;

The band strikes up a lively strain,

        As from the graves of fame they go,

Back to the shop, the store, the farm,

To dwell in peace, without alarm—

        Awed by no outward foe!

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