Monday, May 30, 2011

Poems for Homes: "That memory may their deed redeem/When like our sires, our sons are gone"

Memorial Day reading list -- pieces written and sung long ago but fitting for today:

"Concord Hymn" (Emerson)

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

"To Lucasta, Going to Wars" (Lovelace)

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly.

True, a new mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.

Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee (Dear) so much,
Lov'd I not Honour more.

Nickel Creek's "The Hand Song" is a modern, moving story about a young soldier who learned to give it all at his mother's knee.

Thank you, dad and John John for your lives of service. "If war is ever lawful, then peace is sometimes sinful." (CS Lewis)

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