Virginia's Dead

Cornelia Jane Matthews Jordan

Proud mother of a race that reared
The brave and good of ours,
Lo! on thy bleeding bosom lie
Thy pale and perished flowers.
Where'er upon her own bright soil
Hosts meet their blood to shed--
Where brightly gleams the victor's sword,
There sleep Virginia's dead.

And when upon the crimsoned field
The cannon loudest roars,
And hero-blood for liberty
A streaming torrent pours;
Where fiercest grows the battle's rage
And Southern banners spread;
Where minions crouch and vassals kneel,
There sleep Virginia's dead.

Where bright Potomac's classic wave
Rolls softly to the sea,
And Shenandoah's sweet valley smiles
In her captivity;
Where Mississippi sullen rolls
His foaming torrent bed,
And Tennessee's smooth ripples break,
There sleep Virginia's dead.

And where mid dreary mountain heights
The Frost-king sternly sate,
As Garnett cheered his legion on
And nobly met his fate;
Where Johnston, Lee and Beauregard,
Their gallant armies led,
Through winter snows and tropic suns,
There sleep Virginia's dead.

And where through Georgia's flowery meads
The proud Savannah flows,
As soft o'er Carolina's brow
Atlantic's pure breeze blows;
Where Florida's sweet tropic flowers
Their dewy fragrance shed,
And night-winds sigh through orange-groves,
There sleep Virginia's dead.

Where Louisiana's eagle eye
Frowns darkly on her chains,
And proud New Orleans' noble streets
The Despot's heel profanes--
Where Virtue shrinks in dread dismay
And Beauty bows her head,
While Valor spurns th' oppressor's yoke.
There sleep Virginia's dead.

'Neath Alabama's sunny skies.
On Texas' burning shore,
Where blooming prairies brightly sweep
Missouri's bosom o'er,
Where bold Kentucky's lion heart
Leaps to her Morgan's tread,
And tyrants quail at Freedom's cry,
There sleep Virginia's dead.

And where the Ocean's trackless waves
O'er pallid corpses sweep,
As mid the cannon's deafening peal,
Deep calleth unto deep;
Wherever Honor's sword is drawn
And justice rears her head--
Where heroes fall and martyrs bleed,
There sleep Virginia's dead.

August 13, 1862

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