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The Blue And The Gray

A Civil War Poem by Marshall S. Cornwell

From: Wheat and Chaff by Marshall S. Cornwell, Cornwell Brothers, Romney, 1899), p. 31-32.

At a joint celebration of Washington's Birthday, at Elkins, by the G. A. R. Post
and a Camp of Confederate Veterans. Mr. M. S. Cornwell, of the "Inter Mountain",
read the following beautiful original poem:        —Wheeling Register.

 

The Blue And The Gray

The death dealing passions that burned fierce and bright,
In the heart of the nation, when grim visaged war,
Like the sable-hued folds of the mantle of night,
Enveloped the land, its beauty to mar,

Have gone like the dreams of the years that have vanished,
Like the dewdrops that melt at the kiss of the sun,
When love took the place of the demon you banished,
And the Blue and the Gray stand united as one.

From the storm-beaten shores of the far Northern Ocean;
To where the palms wave by the Mexican Sea,
The spirit of discord, of civil commotion,
Like a spectre, arose, and bid liberty flee.

Then the sons of the Southland—no braver e'er battled—,
They offered their lives for a cause they deemed right,
When the war dogs were loosed and the musketry rattled,
Virginia was found in the van of the fight.

Aye, brave, too were those, from each Northern valley,
Who fought for Old Glory, its stripes and its stars,
When the bugle blast echoed the sound of the rally,
They sprang to the fray like true sons of Mars.

In the heart of a Nation, two words are enshrined,
Whose meaning shall last 'till the end of the day,
And around them the tendrils of memory are twined,
They are blazoned in glory—the Blue and the Gray.

Their deed shall yet live through the far future ages;
These soldiers who met on the wide battle plain,
And the pen of the poet, or wisdom of sages,
Can add not one jot to the sheen of their fame.

We love the traditions the Southland hath cherished,
Of brave men who fell in the thick of the fray.
We remember with pride, now that passion has perished,
Americans all, were the Blue and the Gray.

Marshall S. Cornwell      

Our thanks to Jane Ailes for supplying this poem for us to present.