Posts Tagged ‘poetry’
The Irwin monument bears the lines “God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world” from poet Robert Browning’s Pippa Passes. The lines are from the point of view of the main character, Pippa, a young naive silkworker, as she walks and sings her way through her native land.
No rumour of the foe’s advance
Now swells upon the wind;
No troubled thought at midnight haunts
Of loved ones left behind.
Their shivered swords are red with rust,
Their plumed heads are bowed;
Their haughty banner, trailed in dust,
Is now their martial shroud.
And plenteous funeral tears have washed
The red stains from each brow;
And the proud forms, by battle gashed,
Are free from anguish now.
Nor war’s wild note, nor glory’s peal,
Shall thrill with fierce delight;
Those breasts that never more may feel
The rapture of the fight.
Like the fierce Northern hurricane
That sweeps the great plateau,
Flushed with triumph, yet to gain,
Come down the serried foe;
Who heard the thunder of the fray
Break o’er the field beneath,
Knew the watchword of the day
Was “Victory or death!”
Long had the doubtful conflict raged
O’er all that stricken plain,
For never fiercer fight had waged
The vengeful blood of Spain;
And still the storm of battle blew,
Still swelled the glory tide;
Not long, our stout old Chieftain knew,
Such odds his strength could bide.
Twas in that hour his stern command
Called to a martyr’s grave
The flower of his beloved land,
The nation’s flag to save.
By rivers of their father’s gore
His first-born laurels grew,
And well he deemed the sons would pour
Their lives for glory too.
For many a mother’s breath has swept
O’er Angostura’s plain,
And long the pitying sky has wept
Above its moldered slain.
The raven’s scream, or eagle’s flight,
Or shepherd’s pensive lay,
Alone awakes each sullen height
That frowned o’er that dread fray.
Sons of the Dark and Bloody Ground
Ye must not slumber there,
Where stranger steps and tongues resound
Along the heedless air.
Thus ‘neath their parent turf they rest,
Far from the gory field,
Borne to a Spartan mother’s breast
On many a bloody shield;
The sunshine of their native sky
Smiles sadly on them here,
And kindred eyes and hearts watch by
The heroes sepulcher.
Nor shall your glory be forgot
While fame her record keeps,
For honor points the hallowed spot
Where valor proudly sleeps.
Yon marble minstrel’s voiceless stone
In deathless song shall tell,
When many a vanquished age hath flown,
The story how ye fell.
Nor wreck, nor change, nor winter’s blight,
Nor time’s remorseless doom,
Shall dim one ray of glory’s light
That gilds your deathless tomb.
Stanzas from “Bivouac of the Dead,” a poem written by Theodore O’Hara in 1847, is on plaques around the National Cemetery at Gettysburg.
I don’t have a lot of memories of spending time with just my father as a child. Between his job (Mom did not have a full-time job from the time I was 2 until I was about 14) and my two brothers, we were rarely alone together. But he did teach me how to ski, and I remember on the long, quiet chairlift ride up the mountain in the early morning, he would sometimes recite Robert Frost poems to me. The two I remember best are “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “The Road Not Taken.” I still have a book of Robert Frost’s poetry in my library, and I have a framed copy of “The Road Not Taken” that my fraternity brothers gave me when I graduated from college. While I love the hush and peace of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” it’s been “The Road Not Taken” that has spoken to me about life in general. So when I saw the final stanza engraved on a gravestone, I had to photograph it.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
One of the most magnificent places I visited in Dublin was Christ Church Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. Founded in approximately 1030, the cathedral is the seat of the Anglican – Episcopalian Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough, Church of Ireland. (Despite the fact that the Republic of Ireland is estimated to be over 90% Roman Catholic, both of the cathedrals I visited in Dublin were Anglican.)
Like many European cathedrals, Christ Church has burials underneath the cathedral floor. Some of them are so old and worn by time that the art is difficult to make out.
Next post on Christ Church – the crypt…
Inside this nautically themed memorial at Lake View Cemetery is a poem penned by one of those it seeks to commemorate:
What if this life should prove to be a dream,-
A slumber journey to a fancied sphere:
Would the return to consciousness redeem
The loss, eternal, of the dreamland here?
What if the scenes and friendships that seem real,
Were but vision of a reverie:
Would the awakening again reveal
The picture of the dreamland mystery?
Or would the thoughts reflected in review
Of the dream incidents recalled again,
Forever pass away as most dreams do,
And naught of dreamlands memories remain?
What if a choice were offered from above,
To live on earth or dwell with The Supreme,-
Forgetting all the ties, endearments, love,-
In this strange life, if it should prove a dream!
What if the future life, too, were denied
Returning glimpses of the dreamland shore.-
What could the God of all above provide
In lieu of the lost dream—to dream no more.
Albert Anthony Augustus
Cleveland, Sept. 10th, 1925