Joyce Kilmer's "Rouge Bouqet"
I just finished a part one of a post about the Catholic writer and soldier Joyce Kilmer and his poem "Rouge Bouqet"
I think its an interesting and inspiring story.
yours truly reciting Rouge Bouqet
In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet
There is a new-made grave today
Built by never a spade nor pick
Yet covered with earth ten meters thick
There lie many fighting men
Dead in their youthful prime
Never to laugh nor love again
Nor taste the summertime
For death came flying through the air
And stopped his flight at the dugout stair
Touched his prey and left them there
Clay to clay
He hid their bodies stealthily
In the soil of the land they fought to free and fled away
Now over the grave abrupt and clear three volleys ring
And perhaps their brave young spirits hear the bugle sing
Go to sleep! Go to sleep!
Slumber well where the shell screamed and fell
Let your rifles rest on the muddy floor, you will not need them any more
Dangerís past, now at last, go to sleep!
There is on earth no worthier grave
To hold the bodies of the brave
Than this place of pain and pride
Where they nobly fought and nobly died
Never fear but in the skies
Saints and angels stand
Smiling with their holy eyes
On this new-come band
Saint Michaelís sword darts through the air and touches the aureole on his hair
As he sees them stand saluting there, his stalwart sons
And Patrick, Brigid, Columkill, rejoice that in veins of warriors still
The Gaelís blood runs
And up to Heavenís doorway floats
Fom the wood called Rouge Bouquet
A delicate cloud of bugle-notes
That softly say, Farewell! Farewell!
Comrades true, born anew, peace to you
Your souls shall be where the heroes are
And your memory shine like the morning-star
Brave and dear, shield us here, Farewell!
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