General Lew Wallace

FEBRUARY 15, 1905

NAY, Death, thou mightiest of all
Dread conquerors — thou dreadest chief, —
Thy heavy hand can here but fall
Light as the Autumn leaf:
As vainly, too, its weight is laid
Upon the warrior's knightly sword; —
Still through the charge and cannonade
It flashes for the Lord.

In forum — as in battle-field —
His voice rang for the truth — the right —
Keyed with the shibboleth that pealed
His Soul forth to the fight:
The inspiration of his pen
Glowed as a star, and lit anew
The faces and the hearts of men
Watching, the long night through.

A destiny ordained — divine
It seemed to hosts of those who saw
His rise since youth and marked the line
Of his ascent with awe: —
From the now-storied little town
That gave him birth and worth, behold,
Unto this day of his renown,
His sword and word of gold.

Serving the Land he loved so well —
Hailed midsea or in foreign port,
Or in strange-bannered citadel
Or Oriental Court, —
He — honored for his Nation's sake,
And loved and honored for his own —
Hath seen his Flag in glory shake
Above the Pagan Throne.
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