DECKING SOUTHERN SOLDIERS’ GRAVES.
“Pulveris tua maniplia ad manes spargere.”
Beautiful feet, with maidenly tread,
Offerings bring to the gallant dead,
Footsteps light press the sacred sod
Of heroes untimely ascended to God.
Bring spring flowers! in fragrant perfume,
And offer sweet prayers for a merciful doom.
Beautiful hands! ye deck the graves,
Above the dust of the Southern braves,
Here was extinguished their manly fire,
Who scorned to flinch from the foeman’s ire.
Bring spring flowers! the laurel and rose,
And deck ye the graves where your friends repose.
Beautiful eyes! the tears ye shed
Are brighter than diamonds to those who bled;
Spurned is the cause they fell to save,
But “little they’ll reck,”—if ye honor the brave.
Bring spring flowers! with tears and praise.
And chant o’er their tombs, your grateful lays.
Beautiful lips! ye trembled now,
Memory wakens the sleeping one’s vow;
Mute are the lips and faded the forms,
That never knelt, save to God and your charms.
Bring spring flowers! all dewy with morn,
And think how they loved ye, whose graves ye adorn.
Beautiful hearts! of matron and maid,
Faithful were ye, when Apostles betrayed!
Here are your loved and cherished ones laid.
Peace to their ashes, the flowers ye strew
Are monuments worthy the faithful and true.
Bring spring flowers! perfume their sod,
With annual incense to glory and God.
— Col. A. W. Slayback, C. S. A., Steamer Stonewall, Missouri River, 9 May 1865.