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The Voice Of Silence

The Voice Of Silence image
Parent Issue
Day
23
Month
June
Year
1876
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

# Y WM. WINTER. [A. poem read at the reunión of Üie Arniy o Potomac, Philadelphia, June 6, 1876.] Bright on the sparkling sward, thie day, The youtufnl eiinimer gleaniH ; The roses in the south wind play ; The slumberous woodland dreamB ; In golden light, 'neath clouda of fleece, Mid bird-songs wild and free, The blue Potomac flows, in peace, Down to the peaceful sea. No echo f rom the stormy pa3t Alarms the placid valeNor cannon roar, nor truinpet blast, Nor shattered soldier's wail. There'B nothing left to mark the stnfe, The triumph, or the pain, Where nature to her general lif e Takes back our lives again. Yet, in your viBion, evermore, Beneath affrighted skies, With crah of sound, with reek of gore, The martial pageants rise. Audacious banners rend the air, Dark steeds of battlaneigh, ■ And frautic through the sulphurous glaro Ra ves on the crinisou fray ! Not time nor chance nor change can drown Yonr memories proud and high, Nor plucfe your star of greatness down From glory's deathless sky ! Foreverruore your fame shade bide- Tour valor tried and true ; And that which makes your country 'a prido May welï be ríe! e lo you ! Forever through the soldier's thought The soldier'B life returns- Or where the trampled fields are f ought Or where the camp-flre burns. For him the pomp of morning brings A thrill none else eau know ; For him night waves her sable wings O'er many a nameless woe. How often, face to face with death, In stern suspense he stood, White bird and insect heJd their breath Within the ambushed wood ! Again he sees the silsnt hills, With danger's menace grim ; And darkiy all the shuddering rills Run red with blood, for him. For him the cruel sun 01 noon Qlares on a bristliug plain ; For him the cold, disdainful moon Lights meadowB rough with slain. There's death in every eight he seee, In every sound he hears ; And sunset hushand evening breezo Are sad with prisoned tears. Again, worn out with midnighf; maroh, He sinks beside the track ; Again, beneath the lonely arch, His dreams of home come back ; In morniug wind the roses shake Around his cottage door, And little f eet of children mako Their nuisic on the floor. The tones that nevermore on earth Can bid his pulses leap, Ring out again, in careless mirth, Across the vales of sleep ; And where, in horrent splendor, roll The waves of vict'ry's tide, The chosen comrades of his soul Are glorious at his side ! Forget ! the arm may loso its might, The tired heart beat low, The sun from heaven blot out his light The weet wind cease to blow ; But, while one spark of life is warm Within this mold of clay, His soul wi]l revel in the storm Of that tremendous day. On mountain slope, in lonely glen, By fate's divine command, The blood of those devoted men Has Banctiñed this land ! The funeral moes- but not in grief- Waves o'er their hallowed reBt; And not in grief the laurel leaf Drops on the hero's breast ! Tears for the living, when God's gift- (The friend of man to be)- Wastes, like the shattered spars that drift Upon the unknown sea ! "■'ïu _rtreí "rwnlr Jn ii.l-o liet But no tears for the soul that past When honor's fight was won ! He takes the hand of heavenly fate W ho Uves and dies for truth ! For him the holy angels wait, In realms of endleas youth ! The grass upon his grave is green With everlastïng bloom ; And love and blessings make the sheen Of glory round the tomb ! Mourn not for them, the loved and gone I The cause they died to save Plants an eternal corner-stone Upon the martyr's grave ; And, safe from all the ills we pass, Their sleep is sweet and low, 'Nath requiems of the murmuring grass And dirges of the snow. That sunset wafts his holiest kiBB Through evening's gathering shades, That beauty breaks the heart with bliss The hour before it fades, That music Beeias to merge with heaven Just wlien its echo dies, Is nature'a sacred promiBe given Of life beyond the skies ! Mourn not ! in life and death they teach This thought - this truth - sublime ; There's no man free, except he reach Beyond the verge of time ! So, beckoning up the starry slope They bid our souls to live ; And, nooding all the world with hope, Have taught us to forgive. No soldier spurns a fallen foe ! No hate of human-kind Can darken down the generous glow That firee the patriot mind ! But loro shall make the anquBhed strong, And JuBtice lift their ban- Wherd right no more can bend to wrong Nor man be slave to man. So from their quiet graves they speak, So speaks that quiet scène - Where now the violet blossoms meek, And all the fields are green. There wood and stream and fiower and bird A pure content declare ; And where the voice of war was heard Is heard the voice of prayer. Once more in perfect love, O Lord, Our aliened hearts unite ; And clasp, acroBs the broken sword, The hands that used to smite ! And since beside Potomac's wave There's nothing left but peacc, Be fllled at last the open grave, And let the sorrow ceaae. Sweet, from the pitying northern pines, Their loving whisper flows ; And sweetly, where the orange ehines, The palm tree woos the tobg ; Ah, let that tender music run O'er all the years to be ; And Thy great blessing make us one- And make us one with Thee !

Article

Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus