Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE UNKNOWN, by ELMER O. LAUGHLIN



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THE UNKNOWN, by            
First Line: I do not understand
Last Line: She won't forget.
Subject(s): History; Unknown Soldier; Historians


I DO not understand . . .
They bring so many, many flowers to me --
Rainbows of roses, wreaths from every land;
And hosts of solemn strangers come to see
My tomb here on these quiet, wooded heights.
My tomb here seems to be
One of the sights.

The low-voiced men, who speak
Of me quite fondly, call me "The Unknown":
But now and then at dusk, Madonna-meek,
Bent, mournful mothers come to me alone
And whisper down -- the flowers and grasses through --
Such names as "Jim" and "John" . . .
I wish they knew.

And once my sweetheart came.
She did not -- nay, of course she could not -- know,
But thought of me and crooned to me the name
She called me by -- how many years ago?
A very precious name. Her eyes were wet,
Yet glowing, flaming so . . .
She won't forget.





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