Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day, Remember them



ROLL-CALL

"Corporal Green!" the Orderly cried;
"Here!" was the answer loud and clear,
From the lips of a soldier who stood near,--
And "Here!" was the word the next replied.

"Cyrus Drew!"--then a silence fell;
This time no answer followed the call;
Only his rear-man had seen him fall;
Killed or wounded--he could not tell.

There they stood in the failing light,
These men of battle, with grave, dark looks,
As plain to be read as open books,
While slowly gathered the shades of night.

The fern on the hillsides was splashed with blood,
And down in the corn, where the poppies grew,
Were redder stains than the poppies knew,
And crimson-dyed was the river's flood.

For the foe had crossed from the other side,
That day, in the face of a murderous fire
That swept them down in its terrible ire;
And their life-blood went to color the tide.

"Herbert Cline!"--At the call there came
Two stalwart soldiers into the line,
Bearing between them this Herbert Cline,
Wounded and bleeding, to answer his name.

"Ezra Kerr!"--and a voice answered "Here!"
"Hiram Kerr!"--but no man replied.
They were brothers, these two; the sad wind sighed,
And a shudder crept through the cornfield near.

"Ephraim Deane!"--then a soldier spoke;
"Deane carried our regiment's colors," he said,
"When our ensign was shot; I left him dead,
Just after the enemy wavered and broke."

"Close to the roadside his body lies;
I paused a moment and gave him to drink;
He murmured his mother's name, I think,
And Death came with it and closed his eyes."

'Twas a victory, yes; but it cost us dear:
For that company's roll, when called at night,
Of a hundred men who went into the fight,
Numbered but twenty that answered "Here!"

Nathaniel Graham Shepherd

4 comments:

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

May we celebrate the lives of these soldiers even as we mourn their passing!

May we look after their families, as they look after us!

And always live lives worthy of their sacrifice!

J_G said...

Word, It's hard to teach a whole generation of weenies that they need to understand honor and respect when they've displayed or felt none for their whole lives.

Now we have a government that doesn't respect the freedoms that were fought so hard for and died for. They were put into office by those same weenies that only look for what the government can do for them.

Gayle said...

"A whole generation of weenies"! Yep... it's the truth and it's going to be hard to turn it around.

I love the poem, Jennifer. Thank you. God bless!

J_G said...

Thanks Gayle, it appears that there are some pretty annoying new leftists that have no life looking to start bad feelings not only at your blog but also at many of the others I have started making my rounds to again. I've been feeling like the Orkin leftist exterminator for the last few days.

I know we're bit weary of their non sense because it's been going on for too long but they have to be rebutted and not given the opportunity to espouse complete revisionist history.

It's always been this way since the beginning of the country. At times it gets a little more contentious like during the War of 1812,the Civil War and Vietnam. The formula hasn't changed much either; 1/3 on the leftist side, 1/3 on the right and about 1/3 that don't know, don't care or can't decide until the last minute. I've never been anything other than a conservative as long as I can remember but sometimes I sure do lose my patience dealing with people that haven't a clue. To me the worst are the moderates who can't be relied on anything but being indecisive