John Esten Cooke

The Band in the Pines

Oh, band in the pine-wood, cease!
Cease with your splendid call;
The living are brave and noble,
But the dead were bravest of all!

They throng to the martial summons,
To the loud triumphant strain;
And the dear, bright eyes of long dead friends
Come to the heart again.

They come with the ringing bugle,
And the deep drum's mellow roar,
Till the soul is faint with longing
For the hands we clasp no more.

Oh, band in the pine-wood, cease,
Or the heart will melt in tears,
For the gallant eyes and the smiling lips
And the voices of old years.

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John Esten Cooke