Memorial Day

Go;—for ’tis Memorial morning—
     Go with hearts of peace and love;
Deck the graves of fallen soldiers;
     Go, your gratitude to prove.

Gather flow’rs and take them thither,
     Emblem of a nation’s tears;
Grateful hearts cannot forget them,
     In the rush of passing years.

Strew the flow’rs above their couches;
     Let thy heart’s affection blend,
With the dewy buds and blossoms,
     That in fragrant showers descend.

Strew the flow’rs above the heroes,
     Slain for loving friends and thee;
Canst thou find a better off’ring,
     For those sons of liberty?

While the buds and blooms are falling,
     Earnest hearts are asking,—Why—
In a tone, though low and gentle,
     Yet, as ardent as a cry,—

‘Why must precious lives be given,
     That our country may be free?
Is there not a nobler pathway
     To the throne of liberty?

‘Can we choose no nobler watch-word,
     Than the ringing battle-cry,
Harbinger of strife and bloodshed,
     Must we sin, that sin may die?

‘Long ago, to far Judea,
     Came the blessed Prince of Peace:
Shall we ever heed His teaching,
     That these wars and feuds may cease?’

The credit line is as follows: Songs from the Wayside (Self published, 1908) by Clara Ann Thompson. Copyright © 1908 by Clara Ann Thompson. This poem is in the public domain.