Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Introductory to America
The Nation’s Dead
Anonymous
 
FOUR hundred thousand men,
  The brave, the good, the true,
In tangled wood, in mountain glen,
On battle plain, in prison pen,
  Lie dead for me and you!        5
Four hundred thousand of the brave
Have made our ransomed soil their grave,
  For me and you!
  Good friend, for me and you!
 
In many a fevered swamp,        10
  By many a black bayou,
In many a cold and frozen camp,
The weary sentinel ceased his tramp,
  And died for me and you!
From Western plain to ocean tide        15
Are stretched the graves of those who died
  For me and you!
  Good friend, for me and you!
 
On many a bloody plain
  Their ready swords they drew,        20
And poured their life-blood, like the rain,
A home, a heritage to gain,
  To gain for me and you!
Our brothers mustered by our side,
They marched, and fought, and bravely died,        25
  For me and you!
  Good friend, for me and you!
 
Up many a fortress wall
  They charged,—those boys in blue,—
Mid surging smoke and volleyed ball,        30
The bravest were the first to fall!
  To fall for me and you!
Those noble men,—the Nation’s pride,—
Four hundred thousand men have died,
  For me and you!        35
  Good friend, for me and you!
 
In treason’s prison-hold
  Their martyr spirits grew
To stature like the saints of old,
While, amid agonies untold,        40
  They starved for me and you!
The good, the patient, and the tried,
Four hundred thousand men have died,
  For me and you!
  Good friend, for me and you!        45
 
A debt we ne’er can pay
  To them is justly due,
And to the Nation’s latest day
Our children’s children still shall say,
  “They died for me and you!”        50
Four hundred thousand of the brave
Made this our ransomed soil their grave,
  For me and you!
  Good friend, for me and you!
 
 
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