Smith, Effie Waller
|SONGS OF THE MONTHS.|
I went to the cemetery to-day,
And saw the little girls in white
Gently strew the soldiers' graves
With beautiful flowers bright.
I saw old veterans there,
Old veterans they were,
Who had fought in the early sixties,
'Neath the red, the white and blue.
And to-day I saw them marching,--
Those veterans old and gray--
To the music of fife and drum,
'Round the mounds where dead comrades lay.
Of those "comrades" some had fought
And fell at Malvern Hill,
At Bull Run and at Antietam,
And some at Chancellorsville,
And others had fallen at Gettysburg--
But what does it matter, say,
Whether they died in battle,
In the thickest of the fray;
Or whether they died of fever
In hospital tents, alone,
Or after the war was over,
Surrounded by friends at home?
They were soldiers and we honor them,
For they did their duty as well
As any of their brave comrades
Who on the battlefield fell.
I saw to-day young soldiers,
So very young were some
They did not carry a rifle--
But carried instead a drum.
Yet noble-hearted and brave,
And heroic soldiers they are,
They are heroes who enlisted
In the Spanish-American War.
They were there to do honor and homage
To their dear, dead comrades, who lay
Peacefully, quietly sleeping
Beneath new-made mounds of clay.
Their bodies were borne from the battlefields,
Of El Caney and San Juan Hill,
Santiago and La Quasima,
Where they for their country fell.
We honor the dear, dead heroes
Of the four years' Civil War,
It was a holy, righteous cause,
They fought so bravely for.
And we honor those dear, dead heroes,
Who fought 'gainst stubborn Spain,
To free the starving Cubans
From slavery's bitter chain.
And to-day we strew with flowers their graves,
The old ones and the new;
For they're all our heroes, and they fought
'Neath the old "red, white and blue."