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The Souvenir of Western Women/The Homeward March of the Old Pioneers (Poem)

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The Homeward March of the Old Pioneers

By JUNE McMILLEN ORDWAY

Lift high the little children,
O parents, fond and true;
Behold them feebly marching,
Who made the paths for you.


Ah, this is God's great army,
This march is bliss untold,
Though ranks are thin and broken,
And forms are bent and old.


Oh, homeward they are marching,
Their lines will disappear;
Wave high your banners, children,
With glad, sweet voices, cheer.


Ah, bright and beauteous spirit,
'Tis dawn, and spent the night:
They'll find their dear ones waiting
Beside the gates of light.


Oh, they shall live forever—
Their battle lines are drawn,
O comrades, wait their coming,
Just near the gates of dawn.


Refrain.

O, younger generation,
They were all brave and true,
Their path was hard and thorny,
But smooth the one for you.


(This poem is set to music by the author.)