Dear are the dead we weep for;
Dear are the strong hearts broken!
Proudly their memory we keep for
Our help and hope; a token
Of sacred thought too deep for
Words that leave it unspoken.
All that we know of fairest,
All that we have of meetest,
Here we lay down for the rarest
Doers whose souls rose fleetest
And in their homes of air rest,
Ranked with the truest and sweetest.
Days, with fiery-hearted, bold advances;
Nights in dim and shadowy, swift retreat;
Rains that rush with bright, embattled lances;
Thunder, booming round your stirless feet;—
Winds that set the orchard with sweet fancies
All abloom, or ripple the ripening wheat;
Moonlight, starlight, on your mute graves falling;
Dew, distilled as tears unbidden flow;—
Dust of drought in drifts and layers crawling;
Lulling dreams of softly whispering snow;
Happy birds, from leafy coverts calling;—
These go on, yet none of these you know:
Hearing not our human voices
Speaking to you all in vain,
Nor the psalm of a land that rejoices,
Ringing from churches and cities and foundries a mighty refrain!
But we, and the sun and the birds, and the breezes that blow
When tempests are striving and lightnings of heaven are spent,
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