Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
May 10
The Dying Words of Stonewall Jackson
By Sidney Lanier (1842–1881)
 
          Stonewall Jackson was shot by his own men while reconnoitring at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. He died on May 10.

        “Order A. P. Hill to prepare for battle.”
“Tell Major Hawks to advance the Commissary train.”
“Let us cross the river and rest in the shade.”

THE STARS of Night contain the glittering Day
And rain his glory down with sweeter grace
Upon the dark World’s grand, enchanted face—
        All loth to turn away.
And so the Day, about to yield his breath,        5
Utters the stars unto the listening Night,
To stand for burning fare-thee-wells of light
        Said on the verge of death.
 
O hero-life that lit us like the sun!
O hero-words that glittered like the stars        10
And stood and shone above the gloomy wars
        When the hero-life was done!
The phantoms of a battle came to dwell
I’ the fitful vision of his dying eyes—
Yet even in battle-dreams, he sends supplies        15
        To those he loved so well.
His army stands in battle-line arrayed;
His couriers fly: all’s done: now God decide!
—And not till then saw he the Other Side
        Or would accept the shade.        20
 
Thou Land whose sun is gone, thy stars remain!
Still shine the words that miniature his deeds.
O thrice-beloved, where’er thy great heart bleeds,
        Solace hast thou for pain!
 
 
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