Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 22.djvu/365
f ',>!-, ;/;,/ tl,, ,s',,/,/;, /-.-}' and Sailors' Monuwmt. 353
the page, we carve it on the column in letters imperishable and lumi- nous evermore.
Great God, author of peace, and lover of concord, we would rear no monument to perpetuate resentment, or unavailing regret, or unfraternal discord, but we would proclaim to the world that only as we maintain, inviolate the rights of the States, can we perpetuate an indestructible union of the States- a union founded on justice, con- stitutional law, and fraternal affection.
O, Thou, who art full of pity for the bereaved, remember us in our freshly-awakened sorrow, as we pay this last sad tribute to our sons, who left our homes to return no more, and who died in defence of all that was to them most dear, committing their souls to God, and their memories to us who survive them. God helping us, we will be faithful to the sacred trust; we will enshrine them anew in our hearts; we will celebrate their deeds in sweetest songs, as long as winds blow and waters flow, as long as virtue and valor enkindle admiration in all magnanimous souls.
O, Thou who has taught us to rejoice with those who rejoice, and to weep with those who weep, our Commonwealth erects this monument, not for herself alone, but for all her sister States, whose gallant sons together locked their shields and together fell on the bloody front of battle. Beneath the same soil there commingled ashes rest; beneath the same sky, bending over them like the hollow of Thy guardian hand they repose. With a veneration too high for words, with a tenderness too deep for tears, we consecrate this pillar to our unending love and to their eternal fame.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. And let all the people say, Amen.
THE POET PRESENTED.
There was a hearty " amen " as Dr. Hoge concluded the invoca- tion. Mr. Richardson then presented the poet of the occasion, Mr. Armistead C. Gordon, of Staunton, and in so doing, said :
Ladies and Gentlemen:
In the heroic ages of the past their bards have sung of conflicts fierce, of dauntless courage and heroic deeds, of hate, revenge and cruel deeds of blood.
And in our dear Southland in days heroic as of old when war brought death and sorrow to our homes, and tears and blood com-