Full Online Books
BOOK CATEGORIES
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
LINKS
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
donate
Full Online Book HomePoemsFor The Commemoration Services
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
For The Commemoration Services Post by :cwbaugh Category :Poems Author :Oliver Wendell Holmes Date :November 2010 Read :2680

Click below to download : For The Commemoration Services (Format : PDF)

For The Commemoration Services

CAMBRIDGE, JULY 21, 1865

FOUR summers coined their golden light in leaves,
Four wasteful autumns flung them to the gale,
Four winters wore the shroud the tempest weaves,
The fourth wan April weeps o'er hill and vale;

And still the war-clouds scowl on sea and land,
With the red gleams of battle staining through,
When lo! as parted by an angel's hand,
They open, and the heavens again are blue!

Which is the dream, the present or the past?
The night of anguish or the joyous morn?
The long, long years with horrors overcast,
Or the sweet promise of the day new-born?

Tell us, O father, as thine arms infold
Thy belted first-born in their fast embrace,
Murmuring the prayer the patriarch breathed of old,--
"Now let me die, for I have seen thy face!"

Tell us, O mother,--nay, thou canst not speak,
But thy fond eyes shall answer, brimmed with joy,--
Press thy mute lips against the sunbrowned cheek,
Is this a phantom,--thy returning boy?

Tell us, O maiden,--ah, what canst thou tell
That Nature's record is not first to teach,--
The open volume all can read so well,
With its twin rose-hued pages full of speech?

And ye who mourn your dead,--how sternly true
The crushing hour that wrenched their lives away,
Shadowed with sorrow's midnight veil for you,
For them the dawning of immortal day!

Dream-like these years of conflict, not a dream!
Death, ruin, ashes tell the awful tale,
Read by the flaming war-track's lurid gleam
No dream, but truth that turns the nations pale.

For on the pillar raised by martyr hands
Burns the rekindled beacon of the right,

Sowing its seeds of fire o'er all the lands,--
Thrones look a century older in its light!

Rome had her triumphs; round the conqueror's car
The ensigns waved, the brazen clarions blew,
And o'er the reeking spoils of bandit war
With outspread wings the cruel eagles flew;

Arms, treasures, captives, kings in clanking chains
Urged on by trampling cohorts bronzed and scarred,
And wild-eyed wonders snared on Lybian plains,
Lion and ostrich and camelopard.

Vain all that praetors clutched, that consuls brought
When Rome's returning legions crowned their lord;
Less than the least brave deed these hands have wrought,
We clasp, unclinching from the bloody sword.

Theirs was the mighty work that seers foretold;
They know not half their glorious toil has won,
For this is Heaven's same battle,-joined of old
When Athens fought for us at Marathon!

Behold a vision none hath understood!
The breaking of the Apocalyptic seal;
Twice rings the summons.--Hail and fire and blood!
Then the third angel blows his trumpet-peal.

Loud wail the dwellers on the myrtled coasts,
The green savannas swell the maddened cry,
And with a yell from all the demon hosts
Falls the great star called Wormwood from the sky!

Bitter it mingles with the poisoned flow
Of the warm rivers winding to the shore,
Thousands must drink the waves of death and woe,
But the star Wormwood stains the heavens no more!

Peace smiles at last; the Nation calls her sons
To sheathe the sword; her battle-flag she furls,
Speaks in glad thunders from unspotted guns,
No terror shrouded in the smoke-wreath's curls.

O ye that fought for Freedom, living, dead,
One sacred host of God's anointed Queen,
For every holy, drop your veins have shed
We breathe a welcome to our bowers of green!

Welcome, ye living! from the foeman's gripe
Your country's banner it was yours to wrest,--
Ah, many a forehead shows the banner-stripe,
And stars, once crimson, hallow many a breast.

And ye, pale heroes, who from glory's bed
Mark when your old battalions form in line,
Move in their marching ranks with noiseless tread,
And shape unheard the evening countersign,

Come with your comrades, the returning brave;
Shoulder to shoulder they await you here;
These lent the life their martyr-brothers gave,--
Living and dead alike forever dear!


(The end)
Oliver Wendell Holmes's poem: For The Commemoration Services

If you like this book please share to your friends :
NEXT BOOKS

Edward Everett Edward Everett

Edward Everett
"OUR FIRST CITIZEN"Read at the meeting of the Massachusetts Historical Society,January 30, 1865.WINTER'S cold drift lies glistening o'er his breast;For him no spring shall bid the leaf unfoldWhat Love could speak, by sudden grief oppressed,What swiftly summoned Memory tell, is told.Even as the bells, in one consenting chime,Filled with their sweet vibrations all the air,So joined all voices, in that mournful time,His genius, wisdom, virtues, to declare.What place is left for words of measured praise,Till calm-eyed History, with her iron pen,Grooves in the unchanging rock the final phraseThat shapes his image in the souls of men?Yet while the echoes still repeat
PREVIOUS BOOKS

Memorial Verses Memorial Verses

Memorial Verses
FOR THE SERVICES IN MEMORY OFABRAHAM LINCOLNCITY OF BOSTON, JUNE 1, 1865CHORAL: "LUTHER'S JUDGMENT HYMN."O THOU of soul and sense and breathThe ever-present Giver,Unto thy mighty Angel, Death,All flesh thou dost deliver;What most we cherish we resign,For life and death alike are thine,Who reignest Lord forever!Our hearts lie buried in the dustWith him so true and tender,The patriot's stay, the people's trust,The shield of the offender;Yet every murmuring voice is still,As, bowing to thy sovereign will,Our best-loved we surrender.Dear Lord, with pitying eye beholdThis martyr generation,Which thou, through trials manifold,Art showing thy salvationOh let the blood by murder spiltWash out thy
NEXT 10 BOOKS | PREVIOUS 10 BOOKS | RANDOM 10 BOOKS
LEAVE A COMMENT