Welcome to the History Corner!
Celebrating the rich history of Port Byron, New York, an old Erie Canal village in the Town of Mentz. This site is dedicated to the legacy and heritage of our community as well as a variety of regional historical tidbits. I hope you enjoy your visit and will stop by again.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Unknown Blue and Gray

Here's another powerful poem that I would like to share. 
Date of publication not known. 

The Unknown Blue and Gray
Wilbur D. Nesbet

There are unknown graves in the valleys
        That the troops of war possessed,
Where the bugles sounded for rallies
But the bullets sang of rest;
And the mountains hold without number
                   Hidden graves from the war's mad days,
Where the unknown men have their slumber
       In their shrouds of blue and gray.

And no drums will rumble and rattle,
              And no fifes blow sharp and shrill
In the valleys that knew the battle,
   Nor atop the lone high hill;
But the silent stars know the story
   And the broad sky of the day
Bends and whispers low of their glory
To these men of blue and gray.

And no banners o'er them are waving,
 No marchers come and pause
With cheers for the land of their saving
Or tears for their lost cause,
Yet the twilight stars intermingle
        With the hues when ends the day.
And the striving flags now are single
  O'er the men of blue and gray.

There are unknown graves in the thickets,
On the hillside and the plain,
Of the missing scouts and the pickets,
Yet they did not fall in vain.
Though their names may not be engraven
And their places in the fray,
In our hearts now each finds a haven
         They who wore the blue and gray.

For the God of battles is kindly
    With none of mankind's hate
That is cherished every too blindly
            And these pawns of warfare's fate
Have their tombs of nature's splendor
    Each set forth in proud array
Through an impulse holy and tender,
               Though they wore the blue and gray. 

Where once were the guns that wrangled
                Sounds the peace song of the thrush,
And the roses and vines are tangled
   In the solemn, sacred hush;
Where the cannon one day would hurtle
Their missiles in the fray
Grows the rue and the creeping myrtle
                  O'er the graves of the blue and gray.

They are nature's hand that are strewing
     The flowers on each mound;
It is God's own beautiful doing
              That each unknown grave is found
Where the cypress leaves are a quiver,
            Where peaks lift through the day,
Where the forest sighs to the river
        Of the unknown blue and gray.