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I.

Where are they who marched away,
     Sped with smiles that changed to tears,
Glittering lines of steel and gray
     Moving down the battle's way—
Where are they these many years?

Garlands wreathed their shining swords;
     They were girt about with cheers,
Children's lispings, women's words,
     Sunshine and the songs of birds—
They are gone so many years.

[383] Lo! beyond their brave array
     Freedom's august dawn appears:
Thus we said: “The brighter day
     Breaks above that line of gray.” —
Where are they these many years?

All our hearts went with them there,
     All our love, and all our prayers;
What of them? How do they fare,
     They who went to do and dare,
And are gone so many years?

What of them who went away
     Followed by our hopes and fears?
Braver never marched than they,
     Closer ranks to fiercer fray.—
Where are they these many years?


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