Violets and Other Tales/Chalmetle

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CHALMETLE.


Wreaths of lilies and immortelles,
Scattered upon each silent mound,
Voices in loving remembrance swell,
Chanting to heaven the solemn sound.
Glad skies above, and glad earth beneath;
And grateful hearts who silently
Gather earth's flowers, and tenderly wreath
Woman's sweet token of fragility.

Ah, the noble forms who fought so well
Lie, some unnamed, 'neath the grassy mound;
Heroes, brave heroes, the stories tell,
Silently too, the unmarked mounds,
Tenderly wreath them about with flowers,
Joyously pour out your praises loud;
For every joy beat in these hearts of ours
Is only a drawing us nearer to God.

Little enough is the song we sing,
Little enough is the tale we tell,
When we think of the voices who erst did ring
Ere their owners in smoke of battle fell.
Little enough are the flowers we cull
To scatter afar on the grass-grown graves,
When we think of bright eyes, now dimmed and dull
For the cause they loyally strove to save.

And they fought right well, did these brave men,
For their banner still floats unto the breeze,
And the pæans of ages forever shall tell
Their glorious tale beyond the seas.
Ring out your voices in praises loud,
Sing sweet your notes of music gay,
Tell me in all you loyal crowd
Throbs there a heart unmoved to-day?

Meeting together again this year,
As met we in fealty and love before;
Men, maids, and matrons to reverently hear
Praises of brave men who fought of yore.
Tell to the little ones with wondering eyes,
The tale of the flag that floats so free;
Till their tiny voices shall merrily rise
In hymns of rejoicing and praises to Thee.

Many a pure and noble heart
Lies under the sod, all covered with green;
Many a soul that had felt the smart
Of life's sad torture, or mayhap had seen
The faint hope of love pass afar from the sight,
Like swift flight of bird to a rarer clime
Many a youth whose death caused the blight
Of tender hearts in that long, sad time.

Nay, but this is no hour for sorrow;
They died at their duty, shall we repine?
Let us gaze hopefully on to the morrow
Praying that our lives thus shall shine.
Ring out your bugles, sound out your cheers!
Man has been God-like so may we be.
Give cheering thanks, there dry up those tears,
Widowed and orphaned, the country is free!

Wreathes of lillies and immortelles,
Scattered upon each silent mound,
Voices in loving remembrance swell,
Chanting to heaven the solemn sound,
Glad skies above, and glad earth beneath,
And grateful hearts who silently
Gather earth's flowers, and tenderly wreath
Woman's sweet token of fragility.