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 Since first we met in Freedom's hope forlorn,
And heard her battle-horn
Sound through the valleys of the sleeping North,
Calling her children forth,
And youth pressed forward with hope-lighted eyes,
And age, with forecast wise
Of the long strife before the triumph won,
Girded his armor on.
Sadly, as name by name we called the roll,
We heard the dead-bells toll
For the unanswering many, and we knew
The living were the few.
And we, who waited our own call before
The inevitable door,
Listened and looked, as all have done, to win
Some token from within.
No sign we saw, we heard no voices call;
The impenetrable wall
Cast down its shadow, like an awful doubt,
On all who sat without.
Of many a hint of life beyond the veil,
And many a ghostly tale
Wherewith the ages spanned the gulf between
The seen and the unseen,
Seeking from omen, trance, and dream to gain
Solace to doubtful pain,
And touch, with groping hands, the garment hem
Of truth sufficing them,
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