“It is the Lord’s Day; my wish is fulfilled.”

Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson's final words,  inscribed upon a marker placed along the Orange Turnpike in 1888 by members of the general's staff.
Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s final words, inscribed upon a marker placed along the Orange Turnpike in 1888 by members of the general’s staff.

Scene: Guiney’s Station, Va., May 5, 1863. SATAN, MARS.

Mars. Hooker retreats; the battle ceases here.

In three days’ fighting his great army lost
Seventeen thousand well-drilled veterans.
Lee is victorious, yet he has lost
More than his enemy a thousand-fold.
Jackson has fallen, and he soon must die.
In vict’ry’s loving arms the hero fell,
Admired and honored by his fiercest foes.
The trump of fame sounds forth his glorious name
In every land where valor is esteemed.

Satan. Foe as I am to all the hated race,
Toiling through ages most malignantly,
To work its ruin through eternity,
I must confess he triumphed over me!
From my maliciousness extorted praise.

Mars. His last great battle was a masterpiece
Of strategy and valor well combined.
He fell not by a foeman’s fatal shot.
The men who slew him would have gladly risked
Ten thousand deaths to save their hero’s life.
Behold the wounded warrior on his couch
Serenely waiting the approach of death.
That open window shows his manly face.
Let us retire see holy angels come,
With dutcous love the hero to attend.

SATAN and MARS retire. Enter GABRIEL, UZZIEL, ITHURIEL, RAPHAEL,
ABDIEL, ZOPHIEL, ZEPHON, ARIEL, ZADKIEL, ISRAFIEL, chanting:

“Rest for the toiling hand, rest for the anxious brow,
Rest for the weary, way-sore feet, rest from all labor now;
Rest for the fevered brain, rest for the throbbing eye;
Through these parched lips of thine no more shall pass
the moan or sigh.”

“Go to the grave in all thy glorious prime,
In full activity of zeal and power!
A Christian cannot die before his time,
The Lord’s appointment is the servant’s hour.
Go to the grave; at noon from labor cease;
Best on thy sheaves; thy harvest task is done;
Come from the heat of battle and in peace,
Soldier, go home with thee, the fight is won.”

— Drummond Welburn, The American Epic (1891).

Author: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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