In Memory of My Brother

A poem by Abram Joseph Ryan

Young as the youngest who donned the Gray,
True as the truest that wore it,
Brave as the bravest he marched away,
(Hot tears on the cheeks of his mother lay)
Triumphant waved our flag one day --
He fell in the front before it.

Firm as the firmest, where duty led,
He hurried without a falter;
Bold as the boldest he fought and bled,
And the day was won -- but the field was red --
And the blood of his fresh young heart was shed
On his country's hallowed altar.

On the trampled breast of the battle plain
Where the foremost ranks had wrestled,
On his pale, pure face not a mark of pain,
(His mother dreams they will meet again)
The fairest form amid all the slain,
Like a child asleep he nestled.

In the solemn shades of the wood that swept
The field where his comrades found him,
They buried him there -- and the big tears crept
Into strong men's eyes that had seldom wept.
(His mother -- God pity her -- smiled and slept,
Dreaming her arms were around him.)

A grave in the woods with the grass o'ergrown,
A grave in the heart of his mother --
His clay in the one lies lifeless and lone;
There is not a name, there is not a stone,
And only the voice of the winds maketh moan
O'er the grave where never a flower is strewn
But -- his memory lives in the other.

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