Women of the Early Harlem Renaissance: African American Women Writers 1900-1922

Memorial Day

Go;--for 'tis Memorial morning--
Go with hearts of peace and love;
Deck the graves of fallen soldiers;
Go, your gratitude to prove.

Gather flow'rs and take them thither,
Emblem of a nation's tears;
Grateful hearts cannot forget them,
In the rush of passing years.

Strew the flow'rs above their couches,
Let thy heart's affection blend,
With the dewy buds and blossoms,
That in fragrant showers descend.

Strew the flow'rs above the heroes,
Slain for loving friends and thee;
Canst thou find a better off'ring,
For those sons of liberty?

While the buds and blooms are falling,
Earnest hearts are asking,--Why--
In a tone, though low and gentle,
Yet, as ardent as a cry,--

'Why must precious lives be given,
That our country may be free?
Is there not a nobler pathway
To the throne of liberty?

'Can we choose no nobler watch-word,
Than the ringing battle-cry,
Harbinger of strife and bloodshed,
Must we sin, that sin may die?

'Long ago, to far Judea,
Came the blessed Prince of Peace;
Shall we ever heed His teaching,
That these wars and feuds may cease?'

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