He forged the iron will
That clutched and held that trembling hill!
God lives and reigns!
He built and lent
The heights for freedom's battlement
Where floats her flag in triumph still!
Fold up the banners!
Smelt the guns!
Her gentler purpose runs.
A mighty mother turns in tears
The pages of her battle years,
Lamenting all her fallen sons!
Written for the Society of the Army of the Potomac, and read at its reunion with Confederate survivors on the field of Gettysburg
, July 3, 1888, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the battle.
Victors, living, with laureled brow,
And you that sleep beneath the sward!
Your song was poured from cannon throats:
It rang in deep-tongued bugle-notes:
Your triumph came; you won your crown,
The grandeur of a world's renown.
But, in our later days,
Full freighted with your praise,
Fair memory harbors those whose lives, laid down
In gallant faith and generous heat,
Gained only sharp defeat.
All are at peace, who once so fiercely warred:
Brother and brother, now, we chant a common chord.
For, if we say God wills,
Shall we then idly deny Him
Care of each host in the fight?
His thunder was here in the hills