Noblest of martyrs in a glorious fight!
Ye died to save the cause of Truth and Right.
And though your banner beams no more on high,
Not vainly did it wave or did ye die!

No blood for freedom shed is spent in vain;
It is as fertile as the Summer rain;
And the last tribute of heroic breath
Is always conqueror over Wrong and Death.

The grand procession of avenging years
Has turned to triumph all our bitter tears;
And the cause lost, by battle’s stern behest,
Is won by Justice, and by Heaven blest.

Dark grew the night above our sacred slain,
Who sleeps upon the mountain and the plain;
But darker still the black and blinding pall
That whelmed the living in its lurid thrall.

But taught by heroes, who had yielded life,
We fainted not, nor faltered in the strife;
With weapons bright, from peaceful Reason won,
We cleaved the clouds and gained the golden sun.

And so today the marble shaft may soar
In memory of those who are no more;
The proudest boast of centuries shall be,
That they who fell with Jackson rise with Lee!

James Ryder Randall

James Ryder Randall (1839-1908) was a Southern poet, essayist, and journalist.

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