Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SENTINEL SONGS: 1, by ABRAM JOSEPH RYAN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SENTINEL SONGS: 1, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When falls the soldier brave
Last Line: Brave songs! With sleepless eyes.
Subject(s): Peace

When falls the soldier brave
Dead -- at the feet of wrong, --
The poet sings, and guards his grave
With sentinels of song.

Songs, march! he gives command,
Keep faithful watch and true;
The living and dead of the Conquered Land
Have now no guards save you.

Grave Ballads! mark ye well!
Thrice holy is your trust!
Go! halt! by the fields where warriors fell,
Rest arms! and guard their dust.

List, Songs! your watch is long!
The soldiers' guard was brief,
Whilst right is right, and wrong is wrong,
Ye may not seek relief.

Go! wearing the gray of grief!
Go! watch o'er the Dead in Gray!
Go guard the private and guard the chief,
And sentinel their clay!

And the songs, in stately rhyme,
And with softly sounding thread,
Go forth, to watch for a time -- a time,
Where sleep the Deathless Dead.

And the songs, like funeral dirge,
In music soft and low,
Sing round the graves, -- whilst hot tears surge
From hearts that are homes of woe.

What though no sculptured shaft
Immortalize each brave?
What though no monument epitaphed
Be built above each grave?

When marble wears away,
And monuments are dust, --
The songs that guard our soldiers' clay
Will still fulfil their trust.

With lifted head, and steady thread,
Like stars that guard the skies,
Go watch each bed, where rest the dead,
Brave Songs! with sleepless eyes.

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