Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PASSING OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER, by VILDA SAUVAGE OWENS

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First Line: They are bearing him home through the old virginia valley
Last Line: Offer a prayer—a tear!
Subject(s): Heroism; Honor; Military Service, Compulsory; Military Service, Voluntary; Unknown Soldier; War; Heroes; Heroines; Conscription; Military Draft; Selective Service

They are bearing him home through the old Virginia Valley,
Home to the hill where a Nation's heroes sleep;
Hushed are the hosts that honor his silent passing.
Hushed is their grief and deep.
Lower him tenderly; vex not his gentle dreaming;
Pillow his head on the kindly loam of France.
So shall his sleep be the sweeter, feeling thy nearness,
Land of the Great Romance!

Souls of the mighty fallen stand at attention,
Sheridan riding his shadowy steed of fame;
Heroes of Gettysburg, Shiloh and grim Shenandoah,
Scorched in the battle flame;
A hundred score of lads whose bodies were taken
Maimed from the fields where the red Rappahannock runs;
Nameless as he, yet honored as he is honored;
All of them Mothers' Sons!

He is the youth of America, taken untimely;
Symbol of countless thousands who perished young;
Sinew and bone of a Nation, crusht in the making;
The poet, his song half sung.
You, who dwell in a Liberty bought by his passing,
It is your Son, your Brother is buried here.
Pause for a moment, forgetting the day's occupation.
Offer a prayer—a tear!

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