Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BLUE AND THE GRAY, by FRANCIS MILES FINCH



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THE BLUE AND THE GRAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: By the flow of the inland river
Last Line: Tears and love for the gray.
Variant Title(s): Decoration Day;memorial Day
Subject(s): American Civil War; Graves; Holidays; Memorial Day; Patriotism; Peace; Soldiers; United States - History; Tombs; Tombstones; Declaration Day


By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver
Asleep are the ranks of the dead; --
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day; --
Under the one, the Blue;
Under the other, the Gray.

These in the robing of glory,
Those in the gloom of defeat,
All with the battle-blood gory,
In the dusk of eternity meet; --
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judment-day; --
Under the laurel, the Blue;
Under the willow, the Gray.

From the silence of sorrowful hours
The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
Alike for the friend and the foe, --
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day; --
Under the roses, the Blue;
Under the lilies, the Gray.

So with an equal splendor
The morning sun-rays fall,
With a touch, impartially tender,
On the blossoms blooming for all; --
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day; --
'Broidered with gold, the Blue;
Mellowed with gold, the Gray.

So when the summer calleth,
On forest and field of grain
With an equal murmur falleth
The cooling drip of the rain; --
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day; --
Wet with the rain, the Blue;
Wet with the rain, the Gray.

Sadly, but not with upbraiding,
The generous deed was done;
In the storm of the years that are fading,
No braver battle was won; --
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day; --
Under the blossoms, the Blue;
Under the garlands, the Gray.

No more shall the war-cry sever,
Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever
When they laurel the graves of our dead!
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day; --
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray.




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