Happy Death

A poem by John Frederick Freeman

Bugle and battle-cry are still,
The long strife's over;
Low o'er the corpse-encumbered hill
The sad stars hover.

It is in vain, O stars! you look
On these forsaken:
Awhile with blows on blows they shook,
Or struck unshaken.

Needs now no pity of God or man ...
Tears for the living!
They have 'scaped the confines of life's plan
That holds us grieving.

The unperturbed soft moon, the stars,
The breeze that lingers,
Wake not to ineffectual wars
Their hearts and fingers.

Warriors o'ercoming and o'ercome,
Alike contented,
Have marched now to the last far drum,
Praised, unlamented.

Bugle and battle-cry are still,
The long strife's over;
Oh, that with them I had fought my fill
And found like cover!

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