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Monday, May 31, 2010

The Blue and the Gray

(Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia)

It began as Decoration Day, a day set aside on May 30 to honor the soldiers of both sides who perished in the Civil War. It is now called Memorial Day and takes place on the last Monday of May to remember all the soldiers who have given their lives for the nation.


By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the one, the Blue,
Under the other, the Gray.

These in the robings of glory,
Those in the gloom of defeat,
All with the battle-blood gory,
In the dusk of eternity meet:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day
Under the laurel, the Blue,
Under the willow, the Gray.

From the silence of sorrowful hours
The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
Alike for the friend and the foe;
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the roses, the Blue,
Under the lilies, the Gray.

~ Francis Miles Finch (1827-1907), American judge and poet


Anonymous said...

Remembering the veterans is a precious thing.
Francis Miles Finch brings flower, tree and sod to mind. These are aids to stir the heart. The poems and icons of the May blog have also brought a power to see the beauty all around. Thank you so much for a month of treats.Mary Vitiello

Anonymous said...

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