Patriotic pieces from the Great War/The Riders

For works with similar titles, see The Riders.


There is a rumbling in the graves
All up and down the land.
There is a lifting of the graves
And a murmur on every hand.
A murmur in the green grass,
A stirring in the mound,
A gasping and a questioning,
A shouting and a challenging,
A calling of voices, voices, voices,
Out of the sacred ground.

There is a stirring in the graves
All up and down the land.
And a rising of ghostly shapes
From the hillside and the seaside,
From the red loam and the sand.
Old men, young men, brave men and strong!
Old men, young men, with anger on their lips!
Men who perished moaning, and men who died with a song,
On the hillcrest and the ryefield and the decks of battered ships!

Up from the fields of Valley Forge,
Ghosts and ghosts and ghosts!
Up from the hills of Gettysburg,
Hosts and hosts and hosts!
Old men, young men, out of the earth they rise,
Defenders, defenders!
With their spirits in their eyes!
The ghosts are not an army
With sword and gleaming gun.
They are riders like the rider
Who rode to Lexington.
Hark! The hoofs in the night,
And the cry. Awake!
What shapes in the dark?
Again, Awake!
Ghosts are riding!
What fingers shake
The doors, and rattle
The windows?
Riders, riders,
On plain and steep!
Awake, oh, ye that sleep!
Awake, Maine!
Stir from your slumber, Alabama!
Awake from dreams of ease,
Glittering coasts!
Awake, Wisconsin!
On your highways
Are ghosts!
Texas, bestir your sons!
Oregon, make haste!
Our dead have arisen!
From graves have they sprung up!
From the hills,
From the shores,
They come, the valiant,
And knock at our doors!
Ghosts of our fathers!
That we they died for
Should tremble, should bluster,
Should falter,
Be afraid!
What hoof-beats, Montana?
Illinois, what cries?
Up from your battle-graves,
Virginia, they rise!
What eyes light the darkness?
What voices command?
Mark them, Mississippi!
Be glad for them, Rio Grande!
Leap up from your beds
When they come, New England!
Hark! Down the misty valley—
Nearer! Hoof-beats!
Meet on the Common!
The world's at stake!

On the highways they ride, our fathers!
They knock at our doors in the night!
Have you no ear for Justice?
Have you no hands for the Right?
Up from your beds, you dawdlers!
Say not we died in vain.
Out of the rusty scabbard
Whip the spirit again!

The ghosts are not an army
With sword and gleaming gun.
They are riders like the rider
Who rode to Lexington!
And every sash they rattle,
And every door they shake;
And to every goal-forgetful soul
To every slumbering, laggard soul,
They cry. Craven, awake!