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They come on these Memorial Days,
They haunt the very air
With scenes long passed, with forms long stilled,
With words and deeds that were.
They come to mourning household bands
They come in heart and thought!
They come in struggles they have made,
In battles they have fought.
They come,--and living voices speak
Their names and deeds once more;
We give a flower — a sigh — and then
Memorial Day is o'er.
O children, dear, who never saw
The old Confederate gray;
Who never saw our soldiers march
With flag and drum away;
Who never saw the dead brought back,
The wounded line the street;
Who never heard the cannon's roar,
Nor tramp of victor feet;
Keep as a holy trust this day
To their remembrance true,
Who, sorely tried, were faithful found,
And fought and died for you.
That so, though dead, they still may live;
Live on, as year by year,
This day recalls the memories
So sacred and so dear.
Live on, though ages o'er them roll;
Live on in flower-decked grave:
Live on in hearts that cherish still
Our own, our fallen brave.
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