Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
IV. Peace
Our Fallen Heroes
George Bancroft Griffith (b. 1841)
THE ANGEL of the nation’s peace
  Has wreathed with flowers the battle-drum;
We see the fruiting fields increase
  Where sound of war no more shall come.
The swallow skims the Tennessee,        5
  Soft winds play o’er the Rapidan;
There only echo notes of glee,
  Where gleamed a mighty army’s van!
Fair Chattanooga’s wooded slope
  With summer airs is lightly stirred,        10
And many a heart is warm with hope
  Where once the deep-mouthed gun was heard.
The blue Potomac stainless rolls,
  And Mission Ridge is gemmed with fern;
On many a height sleep gallant souls,        15
  And still the blooming years return.
Thank God! unseen to outward eye,
  But felt in every freeman’s breast,
From graves where fallen comrades lie
  Ascends at Nature’s wise behest,        20
With springing grass and blossoms new,
  A prayer to bless the nation’s life,
To freedom’s flower give brighter hue,
  And hide the awful stains of strife.
O, Boys in Blue, we turn to you,        25
  The scarred and mangled who survive;
No more we meet in grand review,
  But all the arts of freedom thrive.
Still glows the jewel in its shrine,
  Won where the James now tranquil rolls;        30
Its wealth for all, the glory thine,
  O memory of heroic souls!

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