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 a Soldier
By George Henry Boker (1823–1890)
 
In Memory of General Philip Kearny

[From Poems of the War. 1864.]

CLOSE his eyes; his work is done!
  What to him is friend or foeman,
Rise of moon, or set of sun,
  Hand of man, or kiss of woman?
    Lay him low, lay him low,        5
    In the clover or the snow!
    What cares he? he cannot know:
          Lay him low!
 
As man may, he fought his fight,
  Proved his truth by his endeavor;        10
Let him sleep in solemn night,
  Sleep forever and forever.
    Lay him low, lay him low,
    In the clover or the snow!
    What cares he? he cannot know:        15
          Lay him low!
 
Fold him in his country’s stars,
  Roll the drum and fire the volley!
What to him are all our wars,
  What but death bemocking folly?        20
    Lay him low, lay him low,
    In the clover or the snow!
    What cares he? he cannot know:
          Lay him low!
 
Leave him to God’s watching eye,        25
  Trust him to the hand that made him.
Mortal love weeps idly by:
  God alone has power to aid him.
    Lay him low, lay him low,
    In the clover or the snow!        30
    What cares he! he cannot know:
          Lay him low!
 
 
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