Glory and honor and fame; the pomp that a soldier prizes;
The league-long waving line as the marching falls and rises;
Rumbling of caissons and guns; the clatter of horses' feet,
And a million awe-struck faces far down the waiting street.
But better than martial woe, and the pageant of civic sorrow;
Better than praise of to-day, or the statue we build to-morrow;
Better than honor and glory, and history's iron pen,
Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men.
On a great warriorGeneral Grant, July 23, 1885. The version here printed is from the 1904 edition of the Poems of Henry Abbey, kindly furnished by the author. When all the sky was wild and dark,
When every heart was wrung with fear,
He rose serene, and took his place,
The great occasion's mighty peer.
He smote armed opposition down,
He bade the storm and darkness cease,
And o'er the long-distracted land
Shone out the smiling sun of peace.
The famous captains of the past
March in review before the mind;
Some fought for glory, some for gold,
But most to yoke and rule mankind.
Not so the captain, great of soul,
At peace within his granite grave;
He fought to keep the Union whole,
And break the shackles of the slave.
A silent man, in friendship true,
He made point-blank his certain aim,
And, born a stranger to defeat,
To steadfast purpose linked his name.