Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FOR DECORATION DAY: 1861-1865, by RUPERT HUGHES



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

FOR DECORATION DAY: 1861-1865, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: But do we truly mourn our soldier dead
Last Line: The peaceful barracks where their bodies sleep.
Subject(s): American Civil War; Holidays; Memorial Day; United States - History; Declaration Day


BUT do we truly mourn our soldier dead,
Or understand at all their precious fame --
We that were born too late to feel the flame
That leapt from lowly hearths, and grew, dispread,
And, like a pillar of fire, our armies led?
Or you that knew them -- do the long years tame
The memory-anguish? Are they more than name?
Oh, let no stinted grief profane their bed!
Let tears bedew each wreath that decks the lawn
Of every grave! and raise a solemn prayer
That their battalioned souls be joined to fare
Dim roads, beyond the trumpets of the dawn,
Yet perfumed, somehow, by our flowers that heap
The peaceful barracks where their bodies sleep.






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