While Phoebus lent his hottest rays
To signalize midsummer days,
I stood in that far-famed enclosure
By thousands visited,
Where, in the stillness of reposure,
Are grouped battalions dead.
Where, round each simple burial stone,
The grass for decades twain has grown,
Protecting them in dreamless slumber
Who perished long ago,
The multitudes defying number,
A part of war's tableau.
Along the winding avenue
A vast procession came in view;
The mourners' slow, advancing column
With reverent step drew near,
The "Dead March" playing, sad and solemn,
Above a soldier's bier.
There were the colonels, brigadiers,
Comrades in arms of other years,
Civilians, true and loyal-hearted
To him their bravest man,
Who seemed to say to those departed,
"Make room for Sheridan!"
Anon, beside the new-made mound,
The warworn veterans gathered round,
And spake of Lyon and of Lander,
And others ranked as high,
Recalling each his old commander,
One not afraid to die.
Thus, silent tenants one by one
Are crowding in at Arlington;
Thus Sheridan, the horseman daring,
Has joined the honored corps
Of those, their true insignia wearing,
Who battle nevermore.
Potomac's wave shall placid flow,
And sing his requiem soft and low,
His terrace grave be sweet with clover,
And daisies star his bed,
For Sheridan's last ride is over -
The General is dead!