Our Confederate Dead

By A Lady of Augusta, Georgia

Unknown to me, brave boy,
but still I wreathe
For you the tenderest of
wildflowers;

And o’er your tomb a virgin’s
prayer I breathe,
To greet the pure moon and
the April showers.

I only know, I only care to
know,
You died for me – for me and
country bled;
A thousand springs and wild
December snow
Will weep for one of all the
Southern dead.

Perhaps some mother gazes
up the skies,
Wailing, like Rachael, for her
martyred brave –
Oh, for her darling sake,
my dewy eyes
Moisten the turf above your
lowly grave.

The cause is sacred, when our
maidens stand
Linked with sad matrons and
heroic sires,
Above relics of a vanquished
land
And light the torch of
sanctifying fire.

Your bed of honor has a rosy
cote
To shimmer back the tributary
stars;
And every petal glistens with a
hope
Where love hath blossomed in
the disc of Mars.

Sleep! On your couch of glory
slumber comes
Bosomed amid the
archangelic choir;
Not with a grumble of
impetuous drums
Deepening the chorus of
embattled ire.

Above you shall the oak and
cedar fling
Their giant plumage and
protecting shade;
For you the song-bird pause
upon his wing
And warble requiems over
undismayed.

Farewell! And if your spirit
wander near
To kiss this plant of un-aspiring
art –
Translated, even in the
heavenly sphere,
As the libretto of a maiden’s
heart.