Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE KNOWN SOLDIER; FOR THE DAY OF PRESIDENT WILSON'S BURIAL, by MARK ANTHONY DE WOLFE HOWE



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THE KNOWN SOLDIER; FOR THE DAY OF PRESIDENT WILSON'S BURIAL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Now through the stifling air, thick with the murk
Last Line: While safe he sleeps among the deathless dead.
Subject(s): Funerals; Holidays; Veterans Day; Wilson, Woodrow (1856-1924); Burials


Now through the stifling air, thick with the murk
Of self and pettiness—shame's perfect work—
A sense of greatness spreads from sea to sea;
For greatness was, when, bound in unity
Of generous aim, men of our blended race
Stood looking each into his neighbor's face

And said, "This towering thought, this cleaving word
Speaks for America"—and the world heard.
Then, with new vision of unwonted scope,
They lifted up their eyes to the hills of hope.
Today remembered greatness stirs again
The spirit that kindled once the hearts of men.
And out from smoldering embers starts a flame
Fanned by the whisper of a burning name.

Humblest and highest to that greatness thrill,
For the known soldier, dauntless of heart and will,
Mortally stricken in the long-drawn fray,
Reviling none, a wounded leader, lay,
And passed in silence to the eternal rest
Wherewith the soldier of the spirit is blest,
For all his weariness, his strength outpoured,
Blest even as soldier of the sword.

Proud stands his country, bared and bowed of head,
While safe he sleeps among the deathless dead.





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