On a Soldier Fallen in the Philippines

     Streets of the roaring town,
     Hush for him, hush be still !
     He comes, who was stricken down
     Doing the word of our will.
     Hush !   Let him have his state,
     Give him his soldier’s crown.
     The grists of trade can wait
     Their grinding at the mill,
But he cannot wait for his honor, now the trumpet has been blown.
Wreathe pride now for his granite brow, lay love on his breast of stone.

     Toll !   Let the great bells toll 
     Till the clashing air is dim.
     Did we wrong this parted soul ?
     We will make it up to him.
     Toll !   Let him never guess
     What work we set him to.
     Laurel, laurel, yes ;
     He did what we bade him do.
Praise, and never a whispered hint but the fight he fought was good;
Never a word that the blood on his sword was his country’s own heart’s-blood.

     A flag for the soldier’s bier
     Who dies that his land may live ;
     O, banners, banners here,
     That he doubt not nor misgive !
     That he heed not from the tomb
     The evil days draw near
     When the nation, robed in gloom,
     With its faithless past shall strive.
Let him never dream that his bullet’s scream went wide of its island mark,
Home to the heart of his darling land where she stumbled and sinned in the dark.        


From Poems (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1901) by William Vaughn Moody. This poem is in the public domain.