html website builder

Bring no fair flowers to deck this tomb
They only mock its rayless gloom,
No virgin lilies sacrifice,
No pansies with their pleading eyes,
No royal roses bright and brave
Condemn to deck a coward's grave.
Go where the pure and lovely sleep
Where holy thoughts like mosses creep
And sacred memories gather 'round
To glorify the hallowed ground.
Go where the weary soldier rests,
Where muffled drums in fearless breasts
That beat their march to Honor's grave
Through ardor's flame and duty's wave
Now lie (fulfilled their latest trust)
And mingled with their country's dust.
Go deck the graves where'er they are
That hold the hero-hosts of war,
Not they alone who dared to die
For right, or home, or liberty
But unto those just honor give
Who midst life's conflict dared to live,
Who faced the armies of despair
And welcomed death, an angel there;
Yet rather chose through years of woe
The torturing rack of life to know
Than with a feeble human hand
Destroy the temple God has planned
With hope to find the peace they crave
In an ignoble coward's grave.
Who lived, when death were easier far,
Are heroes in life's common war.
Bring fairest flowers to deck the spot
That chronicles their grief forgot.
Your virgin lilies sacrifice,
Your pansies with their pleading eyes,
Your royal roses bright and brave
Anoint to deck a hero's grave;
But they who faced a petty foe
Nor stayed to plan its overthrow,
While others fearless turned to wield
Their arms on many a fiery field,
These slunk from out the heedless crowd
And buttoning on their gory shroud
While wrong, the ranks of right despoiled
Lay down to sleep when others toiled.
Cowards, weak cowards, let them lie
Unnoticed 'neath their natal sky,
The onward march of triumph treads
With scorn the grasses o'er their heads;
Erect no pedestal of pride
O'er the ignoble suicide.
No virgin lilies sacrifice,
No pansies with their pleading eyes,
No royal roses bright and brave
Condemn to deck a coward's grave.
No trailing myrtle vainly place
To cover o'er a life's disgrace;
Weeds, coarsest weeds, should veil the mound
With its profaned, unhallowed ground,
Fit symbol they of low desires
Of hearts consumed by fiendish fires,
Of minds distorted, souls that grow
To dwarfish statures base and low;
And if perchance a wild flower springs
Or bird, in passing, stops and sings
Where only thistles, grass and weeds
Spring up each year to drop their seeds,
'Tis like a breath of Mercy's prayer
Midst changeless justice bleak and bare.
He perpetrates a complex crime
Who dares to die before his time.
His country called for noble men
But where was he, the traitor, then?
Life's field was broad, its workers few
Yet he had nothing left to do,
Truth had a thousand pearls to give
And he had naught for which to live.
Life is so short, life's work so great
But the tired idler could not wait
And plotted out his coward's crime
With hope to rest before his time.
Who, hath the temple overthrown
To which God holds the key alone,
His is the thief's eternal doom,
His is the prison's hopeless gloom,
He thinks to sleep, ah, vain his thought!
In their lone cells they slumber not;
Like culprits in their dungeon bed
They only wait the sentence dread;
His is the murderer's awful fate,
His grave shall be his prison gate
From whence again with faltering breath
He goeth trembling to his death
Upon his hands the murderer's stain
And on his brow the mark of Cain;
Bring no fair flowers to deck his tomb
They only mock its rayless gloom.