And far from over the distance
The faltering echoes come
Of the flying blast of trumpet
And the rattling roll of drum
And the grandsire speaks in a whisper:
‘The end no man can see;
But we give him to his country,
And we give our prayers to Thee.’
The violets star the meadows,
The rose-buds fringe the door,
And over the grassy orchard
The pink-white blossoms pour.
But the grandsire's chair is empty,
The cottage is dark and still;
There's a nameless grave in the battle-field.
And a new one under the hill.
And a pallid, tearless woman
By the cold hearth sits alone;
And the old clock in the corner
Ticks on with a steady drone.
The conquered bannerThis most popular Confederate poem was written when the news of Lee's surrender was still a fresh sorrow in the heart of its author, father Ryan, who had served through the war as a chaplain. Surcharged with emotion, this poem has appeared in Southern school readers, has been declaimed at numberless school exercises on Friday afternoons, and, framed in gilt or mahogany, hangs upon the wall in hundreds of homes. It is typical of the poet. He was a Catholic priest, yet so restless a spirit that he never remained long in one place.
Furl that Banner, for 'tis weary;
Round its staff 'tis drooping dreary;
Furl it, fold it—it is best;
For there's not a man to wave it,
And there's not a sword to save it,
And there's not one left to lave it
In the blood which heroes gave it;
And its foes now scorn and brave it;
Furl it, hide it—let it rest!