A MEMORIAL  POEM *

                                                                  by James Barron Hope, Esq.
  


Dedicated to the Army of Northern Virginia, New Orleans, May 10th, 1881, on the occasion of the unveiling of Stonewall Jackson's Statute which surmounts the tomb built to receive the dead who fought under him.
 
 
 

Comrades, halt ! The field in chosen.
'Neath the skies of Southern May,
Where the Southern roses ripen,
We will bivouac today.

Here, no foe will draw our sabres
In the turbulence of war,
Nor will drum beat, nor will bugle 
Wake the old pain in a scar.

All is rest, and calm - around us
Beauty's smile and manhood's prime;
Scents of Spring, like ships, go sailing
Balmy seas of summer time.
 

Flags of battle, banging yonder,
Flutter not at strife's increase;
On their pulses fie the fingers
Of the Great Physician - Peace.

In the marble camp before us, 
Silence paces to and fro-
Spectre of the din of battles
Hard fought in the long ago.

While he marches, from the meadows,
O'er the heights, around the curves;
Come the men of many combats-
Death's Grand Army of Reserves.

In the swift advancing columns,
Many a battle-blazoned name.

With Stuart, Ewell, Hays and Ashby,
Bears the honor cross of Fame.

Down the spectral line in flashes-
Glorious symbol of reward
Won when all the world was looking
Unto Lee and Beauregard.

From the war-graves of Manassas,
Fredericksburg and Malvern Hill;
Carrick's Ford and Massanutton,
Fast the shadowy legions fill.

From the far off Rappahannock,
From the red fields of Cross Keys.

Gettysburg-the Wildernesses-
From defeats and victories:

Tired trooper-weary marcher -
Grim and sturdy cannonier -
Veteran gray, and slender stripling,
Hasten to encamp them here.

From the  mountain and the river,
From the city and the plain,
Sweeping down to join their leader -
STONEWALL JACKSON - ones again.

There he stands: alive in granite !

By the hand of genius made
Once again to rise before us,
Waiting for his "Old Brigade."

Chieftain - Hero - Christian - Soldier -
King of men, and man of God !

Crystalized about his footsteps,
Greatness marks the path he trod.
 

Soldiers ! Ye who fought with Jackson
Through the days and nights of strife;
Bringing from the fields of battle
But the hitter less of life:
Ye whose lips have only tasted
Ashen apples from the fray:
Every wound ye won beside him,
Knights ye on this field today.

Army of our old Virginia !

Would ye write a legend here,
That shall win from friend and foeman,
Honors' reverential tear ?

Trace ye then upon this marble,
With imperishable pen,
Words that shout their own hozannas,
STONEWALL JACKSON AND HIS MEN !
 


 
 

 *  Taken from the Southern Historical Society Papers 
  VOLUME I.  JANUARY TO JUNE, 1876 page 77-78 
 


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