Tuesday, November 06, 2018

'Tears and love for the Gray': Walk among Franklin unknowns

CLICK ON ALL IMAGES TO ENLARGE
Like this blog on Facebook

Cloaked in fall colors (and in sadness), the headstones and monuments at McGavock Confederate Cemetery in Franklin, Tenn., draw visitors near, holding them tight. The remains of a 16-year-old boy-soldier, killed in battle here nearly 154 years ago, rest under the shade of a massive tree. We know his story. The markers with the most power are inscribed "Unknown." They lure us in, never letting go.


The Blue And The Gray (Francis Miles Finch, 1827-1907)


By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the one, the Blue,
Under the other, the Gray


These in the robings of glory,
Those in the gloom of defeat,
All with the battle-blood gory,
In the dusk of eternity meet:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgement-day
Under the laurel, the Blue,
Under the willow, the Gray


From the silence of sorrowful hours
The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
Alike for the friend and the foe;
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgement-day;
Under the roses, the Blue,
Under the lilies, the Gray


So with an equal splendor,
The morning sun-rays fall,
With a touch impartially tender,
On the blossoms blooming for all:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Broidered with gold, the Blue,
Mellowed with gold, the Gray


So, when the summer calleth,
On forest and field of grain,
With an equal murmur falleth
The cooling drip of the rain:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment -day,
Wet with the rain, the Blue
Wet with the rain, the Gray


Sadly, but not with upbraiding,
The generous deed was done,
In the storm of the years that are fading
No braver battle was won:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the blossoms, the Blue,
Under the garlands, the Gray


No more shall the war cry sever,
Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever
When they laurel the graves of our dead!
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day,
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray

-- Have something to add (or correct) in this post? E-mail me here.

1 comment:

  1. Good to know the McGavock cemetery is well-maintained and these men continue to be honored and respected.

    ReplyDelete