by Paul Laurence Dunbar
poet, 1872 -
Here stands the house as it used to stand,
Ere the curse of strife came on the land;
It stands as it stood that fateful
When the two brave brothers marched away.
But the rooms are cheerless,
bare, and still,
And a lone bird sings on the window-sill.
* * * *
* * * * * * *
They were two brave boys and a mother's
She had watched them growing, side by side,
And she prayed for both as
For the one in blue and the one in gray.
For they could not
think alike, and so
They parted, grieving; each to go
And add his little tithe
To help uphold what he deemed right.
Each did the right as right he
What more could saints or angels do?
* * * * * * * *
* * *
And one came back, and one was left
Where fleet Death wove
his crimson weft.
But both were brave; since this is true,
What matters is
about the hue
Of coats they wore into the fray?
Brave hearts beat 'neath both
blue and gray.