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Published on Aug 14, 2015
Each year, the SCHS puts on a well-attended cemetery tour in Calais, Maine. Society members dress as former residents of Calais and share their stories with guests. In this performance, Candace Dwelley regales the crowd as Charlotte Mason before Lura Jackson delivers a poem as Josephine Holmes.
The wind was beginning to pick up, so the sound cuts in and out at times. The full text of the poem reads: Welcome, thou laggard Spring, Late hastening to fling A sudden glory on this northern shore! Again with wonder fraught Thy miracle is wrought, The dead earth quickens, life floods in once more.
O budding Spring-time sweet, We, too arise and greet Thy coming footsteps with a hope new born, After the struggle, peace, After the long pain, release And out of the blackest night blossoms the rose of dawn.
No call to combat rude Summons the multitude Slow gathering where the flag serenely waves; Upon the silent air Is fragrance everywhere Of flowers dropped softly on beloved graves.
O memory, touch tenderly Our hearts today; let the long vanished years Smile through a mist that is not wholly tears.
Bright with a golden glow The days of long ago Leap suddenly to life, again the street Is all astir with eager hurrying feet, We hear the fife's shrill call, the murmuring hum Of many voices, while with beating drum And steady tramp the marching soldiers come.
O brave you champions, smiling unafraid, O true hearts on your country's altar laid, A million hands the laurel wreath shall bring, But we, in the old home late-blossoming, Come softly, bringing flowers, so to express All that our hearts contain of love and tenderness.
O granite gray, Stand forth today, Tell all the gathered throng That love and honor shall eternally belong To these and such as they; Tell all they fought to win-- a flag to float Whose fluttering fold can make the tiniest boat That sails the sea inviolate-- no more to wave Its mocking splendor o'er the hunted slave A nation broad and free As the encircling sea, Yet not to be divided, one perpetually.
Speak to these youths and maids whose happy eyes Know not the terror of a war's surprise; Bid them come hither, come with reverent feet, Tell them love is more dear and life more sweet Because these men have died. Speak thou for us today. Tell all we cannot say O granite gray.
Heart of the northern hills, Thy silent presence thrills Like some clear note from silver bugle blown, A herald of good cheer, Proclaiming joy, not fear Telling of blessed peace and warfare done.
So we are glad, not sad, well-knowing Within our veins the self-same blood is flowing That fired our soldiers to the battle going; So we are well assured, Beloved country, should'st thou speak the word, It were a privilege most sweet and high For thy dear sake to die.