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WILL CARLETON
American poet
(1845 - 1912)

Cover the thousands who sleep far away--
  Sleep where their friends can not find them to-day;
    They who in mountain, and hillside and dell
      Rest where they wearied, and lie where they fell.
        Softly the grass-blade creeps round their repose;
          Sweetly above them the wild flow'ret blows;
            Zephyrs of freedom fly gently o'erhead,
              Whispering names for the patriot dead.
                Cover the faces that motionless lie,
                  Shut from the blue of the glorious sky;
                    Faces once lighted with smiles of the gay--
                      Faces now marred with the frown of decay.
                        Eyes that beamed friendship and love to your own;
                          Lips that sweet thoughts of affection made known;
                            Brows you have soothed in the day of distress;
                              Cheeks you have flushed by the tender caress.
                                Faces that brightened at War's stirring cry;
                                  Faces that streamed when they bade you good-by.
                                    Faces that glowed in the battle's red flame,
                                      Paling for naught, till the Death Angel came.
                                        Cover them over--yes, cover them over--
                                          Parent, and husband, and brother, and lover:
                                            Kiss in your hearts these dead heroes of ours,
                                              And cover them over with beautiful flowers!
      - [Decoration Day]

Let all pleasures be more pleasant, let all grief with help be served,
  Let all blessings praise their sources, with the thanks that are deserved!
    Every spirit should look heavenward, every heart should tribute pay,
      To the Soul of souls that treats us to the Grand Old Day.
      - [Thanksgiving Day]

We thank Thee, O Father, for all that is bright--
  The gleam of the day and the stars of the night,
    The flowers of our youth and the fruits of our prime,
      And the blessings that march down the pathway of time.
        We thank Thee, Father, for all that is drear--
          The sob of the tempest, the flow of the tear;
            For never in blindness, and never in vain,
              Thy mercy permitted a sorrow or pain.
                We thank Thee, O Father of all, for the power
                  Of aiding each other in life's darkest hour;
                    The generous heart and the bountiful hand
                      And all the soul-help that sad souls understand.
                        We thank Thee, O Father, for days yet to be;
                          For hopes that our future will call us to Thee.
                            Let all our eternity form, through Thy love,
                              One Thanksgiving Day in the mansions above.
      - [Thanksgiving Day]

Not all the labor of the earth
  Is done by hardened hands.
      - A Working Woman [Labor]

Underneath an apple-tree
  Sat a maiden and her lover;
    And the thoughts within her he
      Yearned, in silence, to discover.
        Round them danced the sunbeams bright,
          Green the grass-lawn stretched before them
            While the apple blossoms white
              Hung in rich profusion o'er them.
      - Apple Blossoms [Apple Blossoms]

Yellow, mellow, ripened days,
  Sheltered in a golden coating;
    O'er the dreamy, listless haze,
      White and dainty cloudlets floating;
        Winking at the blushing trees,
          And the sombre, furrowed fallow;
            Smiling at the airy ease,
              Of the southward flying swallow
                Sweet and smiling are thy ways,
                  Beauteous, golden Autumn days.
      - Autumn Days [Autumn]

Thanksgiving-day, I fear,
  If one the solemn truth must touch,
    Is celebrated, not so much
      To thank the Lord for blessing o'er,
        As for the sake of getting more!
      - Captain Young's Thanksgiving
        [Thanksgiving Day]

There's lots of people--this town wouldn't hold them;
  Who don't know much excepting what's told them.
      - City Ballads (p. 143) [Knowledge]

To appreciate heaven well
  'Tis good for a man to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
      - Farm Ballads--Gone with a Handsomer Man
        [Heaven]

The editor sat in his sanctum, his countenance furrowed with care,
  His mind at the bottom of business, his feet at the top of a chair,
    His chair-arm an elbow supporting, his right hand upholding his head,
      His eyes on his dusty table, with different documents spread.
      - Farm Ballads--The Editor's Guest
        [Journalism]

And that was the way
  The deuce was to pay
    As it always is, at the close of the day
      That gave us--
        Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
          (With some restrictions, the fault-finders say)
            That which, please God, we will keep for aye
              Our National Independence!
      - How We Kept the Day [Holidays]

But I have learned a thing or two; I know as sure as fate,
  When we lock up our lives for wealth, the gold key comes too late.
      - The Ancient Miner's Story [Wealth]

Boys flying kites haul in their white winged birds;
  You can't do that way when you're flying words.
    "Careful with fire," is good advice we know
      "Careful with words," is ten times doubly so.
        Thoughts unexpressed may sometimes fall back dead;
          But God Himself can't kill them when they're said.
      - The First Settler's Story (st. 21) [Words]


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