Our Confederate Dead

By A Lady of Augusta, Georgia

Unknown to me, brave boy,

    but still I wreathe

For you the tenderest of

    wildflowers;

And o’er your tomb a virgin’s

    prayer I breathe,

To greet the pure moon and

    the April showers.

 

I only know, I only care to

    know,

You died for me – for me and

    country bled;

A thousand springs and wild

    December snow

Will weep for one of all the

    Southern dead.

 

Perhaps some mother gazes

    up the skies,

Wailing, like Rachael, for her

    martyred brave –

Oh, for her darling sake, my

    dewy eyes

Moisten the turf above your

    lowly grave.

 

The cause is sacred, when our

    maidens stand

Linked with sad matrons and

    heroic sires,

Above relics of a vanquished

    land

And light the torch of

    sanctifying fire.

 

Your bed of honor has a rosy

    cote

To shimmer back the tributary

    stars;

And every petal glistens with a

    hope

Where love hath blossomed in

    the disc of Mars.

 

Sleep! On your couch of glory

    slumber comes

Bosomed amid the

    archangelic choir;

Not with a grumble of

    impetuous drums

Deepening the chorus of

    embattled ire.

 

Above you shall the oak and

    cedar fling

Their giant plumage and

    protecting shade;

For you the song-bird pause

    upon his wing

And warble requiems over

    undismayed.

 

Farewell! And if your spirit

    wander near

To kiss this plant of un-aspiring

    art –

Translated, even in the

    heavenly sphere,

As the libretto of a maiden’s

    heart.