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The Grand Army Passes Post by :velardos Category :Poems Author :Helen Leah Reed Date :November 2011 Read :1530

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The Grand Army Passes

Behold a long procession passing proudly,
And yet no glittering pomp adorns its way,
Only the emblems of our States and Nation,
Only the flags that floated on the day
These men, our men, trod upon fields of glory;--
The tattered flags that this Grand Army bore
For the Republic--flags that furled and faded
To their old vividness our hearts restore.
The line of veterans once firm and crowded,
The long, long line is wavering and thin;
With faltering steps Old Age speaks mutely to them
Youth marched abreast when they were mustered in.

Oh, Comrades of the Campfire and the Council,
Oh, Comrades who in peril won your fight!
Honor to you and to your dead companions,
You risked your all for Liberty and Right!
Fraternity and Charity your watchwords,
And Loyalty to this our own dear Land!
Our flag you have, the brazen star, the eagle
Undying symbols for your gallant band.
Look at them, youths and maidens, as they pass you,
While old-time war-tunes break upon the air,
And staring crowds applaud; read ye the message
That from the past these veterans nobly bear,
"Our gift--the gift of Freedom to the Nation,
Our great Republic would entrust to you,
Cherish it fondly, keeping it untarnished,
That, in the Future, looming on our view,
You with the World may share your gift of Freedom."

This is the message that our youth must con,
While the Grand Army, answering its last roll-call
And laying down life's weapons, passes on.

(The end)
Helen Leah Reed's poem: Grand Army Passes

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