~ Another document perhaps worth keeping.
Gettysburg – The Soldiers Prayer – handwritten copy (first page), date unknown.
Clayton Family Document from the Donald Clayton collection – This image is contributed to the Public Domain under the parameters of Qala Bist Blue.
Today’s post was of course about the coup; which means military; which ultimately gets down to soldiers and soldiering and the distance from here to there – the distance from home to death.
Hemme (my Grandmother) saved this poem from somewhere. There is only one mention of it on the web (as of right now there are two), “Twas on the field of Gettysburg” in Pennsylvania I believe. Her husband, my Grandfather, was a soldier once.
The stationary is embossed; few words, just “Golden Gate”. Probably paper bought in San Francisco, lined, we’ll never know. Death and wars and wartime deaths always leave so many questions. Did this man suffer as he died? How many other men did he kill? Will his children grow up to be warriors? Will they find a better way? Will HIS farm be laid to ruin like the farms of Gettysburg were that day?
In any war the battle is fast and furious. The fighting or fire-fight is over – if not in an instant – very fast. Then comes the long sleep; the sleep of eternity; the restful repose of the eons as they glide so slowly past. The medals, the heroes, even the wars in time are forgotten. The graves and their locations are in time forgotten too. The reasons for the wars too are forgotten. All the vanity of strife in time disappears; it is the “healing” thing.
What people do remember; and remember most is the WASTE of it all. The men, the women, the land and fields and lives all wasted by war is remembered as are the resources wasted by war. War is WASTE. War is the repudiation of all that could be good; that could be noble, uplifting, true. War is to steal homes, not make them; destroy lives, not create them; to lay waste and ruin to the land (a land) and not to free it or redeem it. War is ALWAYS predicated upon a lie and the lie grows and grows until it has consumed everyone that ever believed the lie or partook in it.
The past one hundred years has been ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF WAR. The war has consumed my entire life, the dreams I might have had, the dreams my parents had. It was all laid to waste and ruin. I have lived but a shadow of my potential existence; war took the rest away – the rest away. But I do believe there WILL BE a time of peace, an END to war, an END to all that are willing to embrace war as a way of life. I believe too, that end will come fairly soon; not tomorrow; not next month – maybe not much more than a year. I’m serious. ONE YEAR.
Why not? If you have someone you NEED to kill; why wait? Why procrastinate? Why put off until tomorrow what you’re “hell bent” to do today? Let it out! Vent!!! Let others vent on YOU. Why wait for “orders”; you know what you want; you know that you’ve trained “to kill”. “Just do it!”, isn’t that what they say, “just do it”. You KNOW I don’t mean this; but I need to make my point. War (and killing, and destruction) is NOT a joke; not a “patriotic chore”; not a covenant with God.
God said, “Thou shalt not kill.” Very simple. Just say “No!” Meaning say “no” to killing, not “no” to God. You WILL KNOW the bad guys by the killing. There is no excuse. You pull the trigger, you DIE. If you’re not part of the future, you’re part of the past – it is where we’re going; not where we’ve been that really counts. Anyway, It IS up to you. Thought you should know.
The full lines to the poem, and a bit of history, may be found in print here.
[First posted 2010.06.24 / Thursday ] 12:14 A.M. Mountain War Time
The mystery of the printed page posted above quickens. You need more information (so here it is). The poem itself is written on a larger sheet folded in half. The sheet is lined, 28 light blue/green lines per page. The sheet size is 12 inches long by 16 inches wide – the center fold creates 4 pages 8 x 12 (inches) in size. The exact length is 12 1/4 inch. There is an embossed “GOLDEN GATE” Scroll Motif in the upper left-hand corner that is 3/4 inches long. Golden Gate is two words, all caps.
The idea here is to try to date this page and by so doing to try to figure out why Hemme (my grandmother) saved it (since she is not here to ask). The original poem (as published in the link) seems to date to 1877. The Battle of Gettysburg was July 1 – 3 in 1863. So was this writing from before 1877 (or after)? As you see the pages are well worn; often folded and refolded as if the sheet was “in a war”.
So now I might add this: On page 4 there is another poem – “Widowers Lament” is the title. The same poem became a song in 1937 entitled “The Little Dove” with the addition of additional lines. Earlier the poem is found as “The Lonesome Dove” (circa maybe 1855). But the scholarship on the web is often so shaky. In a death on February 3, 1869 a similar poem may be found here. However, this is not the poem “like the one I’ve got”.
So how far up “the food chain” is this paper, the poems, the page? Is it just late 19th Century ramblings or is it a page (of history) rather near the source? Let me know if you have some insight.
Meanwhile, here is my copy of the poem:
One day while in a silent grove
Sat o’er my head a little dove,
For its lost mate began to coo
Which made me think of my mate too
My little dove you’re not alone
With you I am constrained to mourn
For once like you I had a mate
But now like you I mourn my fate.
This version seems to predate the printed sheet music versions (circa) 1877, which would put the “Gettysburg” version of the poem much closer to Gettysburg (the Battle).
The “added stanza” version of the song version of the poem is Here.
[First posted 2010.06.25 / Friday ] 800 P.M. Mountain War Time