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[313] When marble wears away
     And monuments are dust,
The songs that guard our soldiers' clay
     Will still fulfil their trust.

With lifted head and steady tread,
     Like stars that guard the skies,
Go, ‘watch each bed where sleep’ the dead,
     Brave songs with sleepless eyes.

Songs, halt where there is no name,
     Songs, stay where there is no stone,
And wait till you hear the feet of Fame
     Coming to where you moan.

Songs, sound like the thunder's breath,
     Boom o'er the world and say:
Brave men may die—Right has no death;
     Truth never shall pass away.

Go, sing through a nation's sighs,
     Go, sob through a people's tears,
Sweep the horizon of all the skies,
     And throb through a thousand years.

All lost; but by the grave
     Where martyred heroes rest,
He wins the most who honor saves—
     Success is not the test.

All lost; but e'en defeat
     Hath triumphs of her own,
Wrong's paean hath no notes so sweet
     As trampled Right's proud moan.

And so, say what you will,
     In the strength of God's own laws
I have a faith; and my heart believes still,
     In the triumph of our cause.

The world shall yet decide,
     In truth's clear far-off light,
That the men who wore the gray and died
     For us were in the right.

Songs, fly as the eagles fly,
     The bard unbars the cage,
Go, soar away, and afar and high
     Wave your wings o'er every age.

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