James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

February 14


By Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909)

(Died Feb. 14, 1891)

GLORY and honor and fame and everlasting laudation

For our captains who loved not war, but fought for the life of the nation;

Who knew that, in all the land, one slave meant strife, not peace;

Who fought for freedom, not glory; made war that war might cease.

Glory and honor and fame; the beating of muffled drums;

The wailing funeral dirge, as the flag-wrapped coffin comes.

Fame and honor and glory, and joy for a noble soul;

For a full and splendid life, and laureled rest at the goal.

Glory and honor and fame; the pomp that a soldier prizes;

The league-long waving line as the marching falls and rises;

Rumbling of caissons and guns; the clatter of horses’ feet,

And a million awe-struck faces far down the waiting street.

But better than martial woe, and the pageant of civic sorrow;

Better than praise of today, or the statue we build tomorrow;

Better than honor and glory, and History’s iron pen,

Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men.