Who marches next Memorial Day?
Speak up, brave comrades: let men say
"The Post turns out in force this year"
Grant's veterans, Sherman's infantry,
Sheridan's tireless cavalry,
Farragut's sea-dogs without peer;
Tireless and fearless in the past,
Bear yourselves proudly to the last,
Though years fly fast and death draws near.
Who'll bear the dear old Flag-the bright
Tri-colored banner, red and white
As sunset's glory, spotless snow,
On whose broad field of heavenly blue
The golden stars of statehood true
Like bivouac fires divinely glow?
'Tis but a wisp of silk: the staff
Light as a boy's slight wand. You laugh
They seemed so, forty years ago.
Not the old colonel tried and true,
Nor his stout major; in review
Or march they'll lead us nevermore.
Some captains brave, lieutenant gay,
Or sergeant proved in march and fray,
Succeeds to the command they bore:
When, waking from the spell of peace,
In memories proud we felt surcease
Of pain and donned the blue once more.