TO THE BELOVED MEMORY OF MAJ.-GEN. TOM GREEN.
By Captain Edwin Hobby.
|In the land of the orange-groves, sunshine and flowers,|
Is heard the funereal tread,
And darkly above it, the war-cloud lowers,
And a requiem swells thro’ its orange bowers,
For the brave and noble dead;
Then trail’d be the banners in dust,
And muffled the martial drum,
His sword in its scabbard shall rust;
With their coming no more will he come—
The earth has received to her bosom its trust—
Ashes to ashes—and dust unto dust.
In the sunniest realm of that beautiful land,
Where spring-time her festival’s keeping,
Where the blossoms of summer in splendor expand,
By the camp-fire light there’s a sorrow bow’d band—
Their leader forever is sleeping:
Then plumed be their banners in black,
And softly the bugle be blown.
No more shall he be welcomed back
By hearts that were twined to his own,
’Till the voice from the King on his throne
To the earth goeth forth, to give up his trust—
Ashes to ashes, and dust unto dust.
A sun has been lost from that bright constellation,
Whose splendor illumines the sky;
It sank as we gazed in lov’d admiration;
Its leaves were the glory and pride of the nation,
’Twas Liberty’s symbol on high,
And darkness now hangs on the face of the day;
The illustrious hero’s at rest;
But the fruit of his genius is left us to say
How sublime was the Chief that is taken away;
How much of all hearts he possessed.
On New Mexico’s mountains, his banners waved
In the face of the haughtiest foe—
All dangers he scorned, and all odds had he brav’d,
And victory seem’d on his banners engrav’d
When his genius directed the blow:
Val Verde! a name that in song and story
Shall brighten our history’s pages,
’Till crumbled in dust, is the record of glory,
’Till valor’s forgotten, and nation’s grow hoary,
Undimmed by the shadows of ages.
Massachusetts’ black banner wav’d on Galveston’s Strand,
The roll of her drums echoed nightly,
(Sad sound to the freemen who dwelt on the land),
It was heard by his ear, it was caught by his band,
A stain on our ’scutcheon unsightly:
Night closed and morn came, what a change had been wrought!
What proud banner floateth there now!
Ah! the victory’s won—Green the battle has fought!
And the cross of the South, morning’s golden beam caught;
Fresh laurels encircle his brow.
At Bisland he stood, like a rock in the ocean
That stems the strong waves on the shore,
Calm and unmoved, in the midst of commotion,
Our army he saved by his dauntless devotion—
What chieftain has ever done more?
Brashear, and Fordoche, Pleasant Hill and Mansfield,
All breathe of his glory and fame—
There his genius burst forth like the lightning conceal’d,
And destiny seem’d to his glance reveal’d—
Fate crowning in triumph his name.
O we weep for the veteran hearts that are gone—
Scurry, Randall, Riley, Buchel,
Shepherd, Chalmers, Ragsdale, Raines, McNeal and Mouton,
Their glorious names and deeds shall live on—
Peace to the heroes that fell.
And O, for the soldiers that bled with them there,
Their country’s strong bulwark and trust,
United to do, and the courage to dare.
In life they had borne all privation and care,
In dust, undivided’s their dust.
And Liberty’s tree, from the blood of the brave,
In strength and in grandeur shall rise;
Its branches extend to each ocean’s blue wave,
And sacred its fruit o’er each patriot’s grave:
How dearly that fruit shall we prize!
Is the hero, O say, in that mystical world,
Surrounded on Time’s silent shore
By the veteran dead, with their banners now furl’d—
War’s trumpet unblown, and his lances unhurl’d—
Are they still with the chief they adore?
Tom Green is no more! lov’d and honor’d he lies,
Near his home by the murmuring river—
In the soil he sav’d, ’neath his own Southern skies,
Where praises from lips yet unborn shall arise,
And bless him forever and ever.
There let him sleep on, undisturb’d in repose,
And cease for the hero to sigh—
Life’s morning was honor—in greatness it rose,
’Twas a sunset of splendor, that life at its close,
He died as a soldier should die.
O’er his hallow’d remains let no monument shine,
To tell of the chieftain beneath it,
His requiem hymn’d by the sorrow-toned pine,
And wildly around it the jessamine twine,
And flowers, bright flowers enwreathe it;
Then silently night-skies their soft dews will shed
On the spring-flowers that garland his grave—
One generous sigh for the bosom that bled,
One generous tear for the fate of the dead,
The noble, the true and the brave.
His laurels were pure, and his honor unstained,
He lov’d not war’s crimson-dyed pall,
His nature was peace while the olive remained—
Refus’d then the long-baited lion unchain’d—
Tom Green was then greater than all.
Affection and love was the pulse of his breast,
Ever quick at humanity’s call—
The widow and orphan his charities bless’d,
The friend of the homeless, the poor and distress’d,
Tom Green was the idol of all.
Galveston, Texas, May 28, 1864.