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

August 9

Cedar Mountain

By Annie Fields (1834–1915)

  • The battle of Cedar Mountain was fought in Virginia on August 9, 1862, the Confederates under Stonewall Jackson defeating part of Pope’s army under Banks.

  • RING the bells, nor ring them slowly;

    Toll them not,—the day is holy!

    Golden-flooded noon is poured

    In grand libation to the Lord.

    No mourning mothers come today

    Whose hopeless eyes forget to pray;

    They each hold high the o’erflowing urn,

    And bravely to the altar turn.

    Ye limners of the ancient saint!

    To-day another virgin paint;

    Where with the lily once she stood

    Show now the new beatitude.

    To-day a mother crowned with pain,

    Of silver beauty beyond stain,

    Clasping a flower for our land

    A sheathèd in her hand.

    Each pointed leaf with sword-like strength,

    Guarding the flower throughout its length;

    Each sword has won a sweet release

    To the flower of beauty and of peace.

    Ring the bells, nor ring them slowly,

    To the Lord the day is holy;

    To the young dead we consecrate

    These lives that now we dedicate.