Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, O NOBLE DEAD, by CHARLES LOUIS HENRY WAGNER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

O NOBLE DEAD, by            
First Line: O noble dead who rest beneath the sod
Last Line: And honor thee.
Subject(s): Death; Graves; Honor; Soldiers; Dead, The; Tombs; Tombstones

O noble dead who rest beneath the sod
Or sleep in peace below the surging sea,
Whose souls are merged with the eternal God,
Who know the truths of life's eternity;
Whose deeds while in the finite, earth-born clay
Gave proof to us of innate nobleness
Which we, the living, recognize today
With chastened hearts through memory's bitterness
We honor thee.

We plant the sweetest blooms upon each grave,
We scatter blossoms o'er the ocean's breast,
Remembering the toll of lives which saved
Our country from destruction, manifest.
We see again the cruel hand of Death
Steal from our midst the fairest of the fair,
And as we gaze in fear with bated breath
We wonder, weep, and question in despair,
And honor thee.

O noble dead who died for Country's weal,
Words are mere mouthings which cannot express
The gratitude which we, united, feel
For your brave spirit of true nobleness.
There is no North, no South, no sundered twain,
No mailed coat of blue, no garb of gray,
But all are one, in unity again,
All reverently keep this holy day,
And honor thee.

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