Wearing of the Gray

Our cannons’ mouths are dumb. No more our volleyed muskets peal,
Nor gleams, to mark where squadrons rush, the light from flashing steel;
No more our crossed and starry flags in gentle dalliance play
With battle breeze, as when we fought, a wearing of the gray.

Our cause is lost! No more we fight ’gainst overwhelming power;
All wearied are our limbs, and drenched with many a battle shower;
We fain would rest! For want of strength we yield them up the day,
And lower the flag so proudly borne while wearing of the gray.

Defeat is not dishonor! No! Of honor not bereft,
We should thank God that in our breasts this priceless boon is left;
And though we weep ’tis for those braves who stood in proud array
Beneath our flag, and nobly died while wearing of the gray.

When in the ranks of war we stood, and faced the deadly hail,
Our simple suits of gray composed our only coats of mail;
And of those awful hours that marked the bloody battle day,
In memory we’ll still be seen a wearing of the gray.

O, should we reach that glorious place where waits the sparkling crown,
For every one who for the right his soldier life lay down,
God grant to us the privilege, upon that happy day,
Of clasping hands with those who fell a wearing of the gray.