would linger in the hearts of all present. The following was the poem:
The birthday of Lee.
However bravely he might sing,
To this proud hour and day could bring
Meed justly strong?
For chaplet worth the hero's brows,
His spirit's supreme dower,
Among the gardens of the earth
Where grows the fitting flower?
No trumpets thrall
The ear with southern battle odes,
No tramp of steeds the green turf goads,
No bugles call.
Is heard no tramp of armed men,
No blades nor bayonets gleam,
No sentry guards a tented plain
By Rappahannock's stream.
No war flags stir
In old Virginia's mountain breeze,
No shot and shell the silence tease,
No drums demur!
There, nature kind, builds up anew,
Where cannon gored the sod,
And scatters flowers to shield the scars
Where trampling armies trod.
No camp fires burn—
No sunrise gun is heard at morn—
Where battle raged, now waves the corn
Or ploughshares turn.
Nature is brave—in vain regret
No weed nor blossom lives.
That which she never can forget
She tenderly forgives!