William Shakespeare Hays

(1837-1907 / the United States)

Robert E. Lee - Poem by William Shakespeare Hays

The drapery of Heaven hung low
In dark and gloomy shrouds;
The angels used the weeping stars
In pinning back the clouds.
The shades of gloom and woe prevailed
O'er all the land and sea,
And eyes that were unused to tears
Now wept for Robert Lee.

A Christian soldier, true and brave
Beloved, near and far,
He was the first in time of peace,
And first in time of war.
Virginia never reared a son
More brave and good than he,
Save one, and he was Washington,
Who lived and died like Lee.

The nation wept when cruel death
Into his mansion stole;
But angels, in the 'Better Land,'
Received his peaceful soul.
For that belongs to God alone,
He gave it to Him free,
And left the South the fame and name
Of Robert Edward Lee.

His peaceful sword is laid away.
His work on earth is done,
He loved the people of the South,
They idolized their son.
There's not a woman, man or child,
I care not where they be,
Throughout the still, sweet sunny South,
But loves the name of Lee.

He had no enemies on earth,
There's not a voice that can
Say aught against the name of Lee,
The soldier or the man.
And that would be a proud, cold heart,
That e'er would cease to be
The place where memory wrote the name
Of Robert Edward Lee.

Bow down thy heads, ye Southern sons,
A few brief moments spend,
In weeping for the loss of one
Who lived and died your friend.
He loved you as he loved his life,
And when on bended knee,
Look up, and let the angels hear
Your prayer, 'God bless our Lee.'

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 27, 2010

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