Thursday, August 3, 2023

Glory and honor and fame

My newest, and free, Kindle acquisition is Poems of American Patriotism (1922), illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, and dedicated "to the memory of Theodore Roosevelt." The first entry is Emerson's "Boston," about the Tea Party that took place there before the Revolution, and the final poem is the post-WWI "The Unknown Soldier." This is going to be an enjoyable browse because along with the familiar, there are many I don't know. For instance "The Burial of Sherman" (1891):
     Glory and honor and fame and everlasting laudation
For our captains who loved not war, but fought for the life of the nation;
Who knew that, in all the land, one slave meant strife, not peace;
Who fought for freedom, not glory; made war that war might cease.

     Glory and honor and fame; the beating of muffled drums;
The wailing funeral dirge, as the flag-wrapt coffin comes.
Fame and honor and glory, and joy for a noble soul;
For a full and splendid life, and laurelled rest at the goal.

     Glory and honor and fame; the pomp that a soldier prizes;
The league-long waving line as the marching falls and rises;
Rumbling of caissons and guns; the clatter of horses' feet,
And a million awe-struck faces far down the waiting street.

     But better than martial woe, and the pageant of civic sorrow;
Better than praise of to-day, or the statue we build to-morrow;
Better than honor and glory, and History's iron pen,
Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men.
Brander Matthews, ed., Poems of American Patriotism, Scribner's (1922).

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