Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
Dirge for One Who Fell in Battle
By Thomas William Parsons (1819–1892)
 
[From The Shadow of the Obelisk, and Other Poems. 1872.]

ROOM for a Soldier! lay him in the clover;
He loved the fields, and they shall be his cover;
Make his mound with hers who called him once her lover:
        Where the rain may rain upon it,
        Where the sun may shine upon it,        5
        Where the lamb hath lain upon it,
        And the bee will dine upon it.
 
Bear him to no dismal tomb under city churches;
Take him to the fragrant fields, by the silver birches,
Where the whip-poor-will shall mourn, where the oriole perches:        10
        Make his mound with sunshine on it,
        Where the bee will dine upon it,
        Where the lamb hath lain upon it,
        And the rain will rain upon it.
 
Busy as the bee was he, and his rest should be the clover;        15
Gentle as the lamb was he, and the fern should be his cover;
Fern and rosemary shall grow my soldier’s pillow over:
        Where the rain may rain upon it,
        Where the sun may shine upon it,
        Where the lamb hath lain upon it,        20
        And the bee will dine upon it.
 
Sunshine in his heart, the rain would come full often
Out of those tender eyes which evermore did soften:
He never could look cold till we saw him in his coffin.
        Make his mound with sunshine on it,        25
        Plant the lordly pine upon it,
        Where the moon may stream upon it,
        And memory shall dream upon it.
 
“Captain or Colonel,”—whatever invocation
Suit our hymn the best, no matter for thy station,—        30
On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!
        Long as the sun doth shine upon it
        Shall glow the goodly pine upon it,
        Long as the stars do gleam upon it
        Shall memory come to dream upon it.        35
 
 
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