The Warriors Poem: Forget-Me-Not
Forget not that life is like a flower, which no sooner is blown than it begins to wither.
“THE beautiful little flower, commonly called ‘Forget-me-not’ blooms in luxuriant profusion on the graves of the heroes of Waterloo.”—Journal or a Private Gentleman.
Amid the fallen warriors’ tombs,
Where heroes’ ashes rot,
A lovely little flower there blooms—
The sweet “forget-me-not;”
It fair and beautiful appears,
Though sown “mid carnage, groans, and tears.
There are, whose mould’ring ashes lie
Where banners proudly sweep;
Where gilded scutcheons mock the eye,
And marble statues weep;
Oh! there is grief enough in stone,
But hearts that burst with sorrow none.
More holy far than these the spot
Where rest the warriors’ bones;
Though marble statues mark it not,
Nor monumental stones;
There needs no sculptural pile to tell
Where those who bled for freedom fell.
Oh! no—beneath her silent pall
Should dark oblivion hide
The fond remembrances of all
We hold most dear beside,
The flowers upon their graves forbid,
That their remembrance should be hid.
Their flowery epitaph is writ
Where Nature’s footsteps tread;
‘Twas Freedom’s self indited it,
Above too deathless dead;
And you may read upon the spot,—
I ask no more—unstrung and broken
My feeble lyre—I crave
Of tender grief this one sweet token,
That on my lowly grave
These lovely flow’rets may appear.
Planted by those who loved me here.
— RHETA ROTAU St. John’s, March 17, 1829