John Grosvenor Wilson


Decoration Day

by John Grosvenor Wilson

Where marbles and mounds lie together
On hillside and dale,
The glow of the bright, breezy weather
Folds all in a veil
Of sunshine and sweet summer gladness,
Undimmed by the rain,
Unknown of the shadow of sadness,
The pallor of pain.

The voice of the wind, as it passes,
Makes musical hum;
But hark! through the rustle of grasses
The beat of, the drum --
A sob, and a low voice that trembles,
A down-drooping head,
The morning of Maytime dissembles,
We meet by the dead.

We meet where the captains of cannon
Lie under the trees
With those that flew banner and pennon
O'er rivers and seas,
We stand by the graves of our brothers,
O valorous host!
On some lie the laurels, on others
The willows are crost.

But all are as one in their ending,
No sound of the strife
Comes up from the dust that is blending
To fashion the life
Of grasses, and sweet-scented briers,
And deep-tinted blooms
That burn out their delicate fires
By numberless tombs.

The maiden who mourns for her lover,
Or friend for his friend,
Learns here that the battles are over,
That this is the end;
And mothers, who meet in their weeping,
With quivering mouth
Ask not if their sons that are sleeping
Came Northward or South.

O gracious and glorified hours!
We gather to-day
To girdle and garland with flowers
Our Blue and our Gray;
We kneel by the green graves that blend us
In brotherly peace,
To pray that affection attend us,
That hatred may cease.


Lyrics Of Life
Copyright 1886
Caxton Book Concern, Limited, New York