Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
August 9
Cedar Mountain
By Annie Fields (1834–1915)
          The battle of Cedar Mountain was fought in Virginia on August 9, 1862, the Confederates under Stonewall Jackson defeating part of Pope’s army under Banks.

RING the bells, nor ring them slowly;
Toll them not,—the day is holy!
Golden-flooded noon is poured
In grand libation to the Lord.
No mourning mothers come today        5
Whose hopeless eyes forget to pray;
They each hold high the o’erflowing urn,
And bravely to the altar turn.
Ye limners of the ancient saint!
To-day another virgin paint;        10
Where with the lily once she stood
Show now the new beatitude.
To-day a mother crowned with pain,
Of silver beauty beyond stain,
Clasping a flower for our land        15
A sheathèd in her hand.
Each pointed leaf with sword-like strength,
Guarding the flower throughout its length;
Each sword has won a sweet release
To the flower of beauty and of peace.        20
Ring the bells, nor ring them slowly,
To the Lord the day is holy;
To the young dead we consecrate
These lives that now we dedicate.

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