The Moon and the Dead
by George S. Patton Jr.
The road of the battle languished,
The hate from the guns was still,
While the moon rose up from a smoke cloud,
And looked at the dead on the hill.
Pale was her face with anguish,
Wet were her eyes with tears,
As she gazed on the twisted corpses,
Cut off in their earliest years.
Some were bit by the bullet,
Some were kissed by the steel,
Some were crushed by the cannon,
But all were still, how still!
The smoke wreaths hung in the hollows,
The blood stink rose in the air;
And the moon looked down in pity,
At the poor dead lying there.
Light of their childhood's wonder,
Moon of their puppy love,
Goal of their first ambition,
She watched them from above.
Yet not with regret she mourned them,
Fair slain on the field of strife,
Fools only lament the hero,
Who gives for faith his life.
She sighed for the lives extinguished,
She wept for the loves that grieve,
But she glowed with pride on seeing,
That manhood still doth live.
The moon sailed on contented,
Above the heaps of slain,
For she saw that manhood liveth,
And honor breathes again.