Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

PATRIOTIC RECOLLECTIONS

Pro Repulica (a)

        Never again in line to stand,
        And watch the enemy's host advancing;
        To wait the sharp word of command,
        To see from hostile bayonets, glancing,
        The bright new gleam of the early day;
        Never again in the morning gray
        To hear the bugles calling, calling
        To battle, where men shall soon be falling.

        No more the thrill of the headlong charge;
        Never again the artillery's crashing,
        As the blue clad columns, grand and large,
        Through the battle smoke go onward dashing.
        The deep mouthed guns are silent all;
        No flame breaks forth from the fortress wall;
        The winter snows and the summer rains
        Have washed from the grass the crimson stains.

        Never again, in the early dawn,
        Will the pickets stand, all southward peering,
        Where the line of hostile camps is drawn,
        To see if the foe is for battle nearing.
        The days of fighting are done at last,
        But the rolls of death are filling fast;
        The comrades fall, and the ranks grow thin,
        The reaper gathers his harvest in.

        It is over now, the hard fight done;
        Our comrades rest from their weary labor;
        Never again will the morning gun,
        Summon them to draw the saber
        for them the bugle is mute forever;
        Stilled is the drum, it shall wake them never;
        Cover them over with the earth's green pall,
        They have answered the Grand Commander's call.

        It is worth a life to have worn the blue,
        To have had some part in the shock and rattle,
        In which so many a comrade true
        Had death sublime in the joy of battle.
        They rest in peace, all their duty done;
        and here in bright glow of the sun,
        In honor, above their lowly graves,
        The flag that they died for proudly waves.

        Who have his life for the cause of right
        Shall have reward in a life immortal,
        His name shall shine in eternal light,
        Angles shall greet him at heaven's portal.
        The craven shrinks from the conflict hot,
        for him the minstrel singeth not;
        Who was unwilling the load to bear,
        In the great rejoicing may take no share.

        Thank God we have lived to see the end,
        To have done our part for the land's redeeming;
        The foe that was we can greet as friend;
        And the nation's banner above is streaming.
        The battle days are but a memory now,
        Yet we can not forget how we took the vow,
        When our hearts were young and we proudly swore
        To defend with our lives the flag we bore.

        As long as on earth the green grass grows,
        The deeds of our soldiers shall live in story;
        As long as the sea tide ebbs and flows,
        The tale shall be told our navy's glory;
        As long as the days dispels the night,
        Our flag shall shine in its beauty bright,
        The radiant emblem by the shore and sea
        Of a land whose sons can keep her free.

_____________________

(a) Hall I. 1890. History of The Ninety-Seventy Regiment, New York Volunteers (Conkling Rifles) In the War For The Union, pp336-337. L.C. Childs Press, Utica, New York.
The above poem was read by Captain John D. Norcross, Brooklyn, New York, at the dedication of the 97th New York State Volunteers Monument at Gettysburg, July 2, 1889.

Submitted by:
Jerome Orton, PDC
New York Department
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
February 2001

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