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

March 17

The Band in the Pines

By John Esten Cooke (1830–1886)

(Heard after Pelham died)

OH, band in the pine-wood, cease!

Cease with your splendid call;

The living are brave and noble,

But the dead are bravest of all!

They throng to the martial summons,

To the loud triumphant strain,

And the dear bright eyes of long-dead friends

Come to the heart again!

They come with the ringing bugle,

And the deep drums’ mellow roar;

Till the soul is faint with longing

For the hands we clasp no more!

Oh, band in the pine-wood, cease!

Or the heart will melt with tears,

For the gallant eyes and the smiling lips,

And the voices of old years.