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.
 
September 1
Dirge for a Soldier
By George H. Boker (1823–1890)
 
          General Philip Kearney was a famous American soldier, who fought in the Mexican War, with the French in Italy where he greatly distinguished himself at Solferino, and in the Civil War, where he commanded the 1st New Jersey Brigade in Franklin’s division of the Army of the Potomac. He was killed in a reconnoiter near Chantilly, Va., Sept. 1, 1862.

CLOSE his eyes; his work is done!
  What to him is friend or foeman,
Rise of moon, or set of sun,
  Hand of man, or kiss of woman?
    Lay him low, lay him low,        5
    In the clover or the snow!
    What cares he? he cannot know:
        Lay him low!
 
As man may, he fought his fight,
  Proved his truth by his endeavor;        10
Let him sleep in solemn night,
  Sleep forever and forever.
    Lay him low, lay him low,
    In the clover or the snow!
    What cares he? he cannot know:        15
        Lay him low!
 
Fold him in his country’s stars,
  Roll the drum and fire the volley!
What to him are all our wars,
  What but death bemocking folly?        20
    Lay him low, lay him low,
    In the clover or the snow!
    What cares he? he cannot know:
        Lay him low!
 
Leave him to God’s watching eye,        25
  Trust him to the hand that made him.
Mortal love weeps idly by:
  God alone has power to aid him.
    Lay him low, lay him low,
    In the clover or the snow!        30
    What cares he? he cannot know:
        Lay him low.
 
 
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