Grant Memorial Poem: “Our Dead General”

AEJ mastheadOur final Grant memorial poem from the Albany Evening Journal comes from August 4, 1885. The original poem appeared on page 3 of the paper, written by someone using the pen name “Fidelitas.”

The pen name—derived from the Latin, meaning “faithful”—was not the only aspect of the poem that evoked an older, classical poetic style. Fidelitas uses a vocabulary filled with “thy” and “thou” and “doth”–much different than the other pieces we’ve read this week.

Tomorrow, July 23, is the 132rd anniversary of Grant’s death. To commemorate the event, we’ll go On Location at Grant Cottage.

Grant Poem-Our Dead GeneralOur Dead General
by Fidelitas 

Though stilled, thy brave, true heart—
Thy for of life bereft,
Conquer yet thou art—
Victorious over death!
In the eternal world,
Where earth’s last heroes stand,
With banners all unfurled,
Thou hast a new command!

A noble army there
Thy radiant form doth lead,
Than gathered round thee where
Fierce war strode, panoplied!
The greatest –gone before
From field and council hall,
On that immortal shore
Have crowned thee chief of all!

Mourn! O ye people, mourn!
Now is your day of grief,
When healing Time hath borne
Your sorrow hearts relief—
Then will his deathless fame,
Blazoned on history’s page,
His grand life-work remain,
Your priceless heritage!

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