All Quiet along the Potomac and other poems/Whisper Softly, stainless Lilies


WHISPER softly, stainless Lilies,
  As you fold each snowy cup
Over soldiers who are sleeping,
     With their war-tents folded up.

Bear to them our loving message,
     In thy sweet unwritten speech;
Chime, white bells, above them softly,
     Echoes only angels teach.

Tell them, Roses, as you wither,
     Tho' their dust shall heed you not;
Still by song and flag and blossom
     We would prove them unforgot.

Show them, Pansy's purple shadow,
     Through thy heart of golden bloom,
How the light of deeds heroic
     Overlies the darkened tomb.

Passion-flow'r with mystic meaning,
     Lordly, bannered Fleur-de-Lis,

Mignonette and pale Narcissus,
Soldier dust, we give to thee.

Myrtle crown and Laurel chaplet,
Fragrant things that bloom and die,—
These, O camp of silent sleepers!
Over every outpost lie.

These we leave with loving message—
Crowns, the faithful Earth will keep,
While the sacred dust of heroes
Still she softly holds asleep.