Monday, August 29, 2011

1861 August [?]

[Anonymous poem written in honor of Holmes and Tucker Conrad, two brothers, alumni of the University of Virignia, both of whom were killed in the battle of 1st Manassas/Bull Run. See letter of 1861 July 26, from Lancelot Minor Blackford at the University of Virginia]

Soldiers of Christ! well done;
Brothers in blood; in life:
Your conflict's oer the victory won--
Ended, your mortal strife--

They stood upon the field
Calm, mid the iron hail.
Holding no thought their post to yield
No heart that e'er could quail.

Their souls were lifted high
To where they'd long been given
Nor cared they for the foeman night
Christ! was their friend in heaven

"Retreat" "Fall back" --was heard
As thick the missiles flew--
They heard but heeded not, the word--
Firm stood, the brothers two.

Then Holmes's cheery cry
His brother's ear did greet:
"Come, stand by me, tucker my boy
"We never will retreat"

One moment saw them stand
Instinct, with martial fire,--
The next--in front rank of their band
Right, at their posts expire

The messengers of death
At the same instant sped
As one, they yielded up their breath
Were numbered with the dead!

They say their forms inclined
Falling towards each other
As if the last thoughts of each mind
Was -- Thus would I die my brother

Brothers! in blood in faith
Brothers! in youthful bloom
Brothers! in life brother!s in death
Brothers! in one same tomb

Thus fought they "the good fight"
In death that victory won
Sprung at one bound to Heavens light
And God's eternal Son

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