The Emily Project: Part One/Life–XVI (To fight aloud is very brave)

Calvary

Calvary (Photo credit: Osajus)

To fight aloud is very brave –

 

BY EMILY DICKINSON

 

To fight aloud, is very brave,
But gallanter, I know,
Who charge within the bosom,
The Calvary of  woe.

 

Who win, and nations do not see,
Who fall, and none observe,
Whose dying eyes, no country
Regards with patriot love,

 

We trust, in plumed procession,
For such, the angels go,
Rank after rank, with even feet –
And uniforms of snow.
Edith: an asterisk and a check
Me: I think EmilyD had mixed feelings about war and fighting.  She shows her regard and respect by acknowledging how the soldiers fall, often dying for their country unobserved by those they are defending.  Yet, there also is a sadness, like she regrets they have to die: “We trust, in plumed procession/For such the angels go/Rank after rank, with even feet/And uniforms of snow.”  She points out their uniforms, how impressive they are to see, and then makes the comment how they are marching to their death (angels).
I feel the same way about war.  I don’t understand the whole idea of someone or some people deciding to killing is necessary to create peace.  On the other hand, I admire how soldiers go and do their duty and I am thankful they are doing the fighting instead of me.
I imagine this poem on a war memorial somewhere.  Has anyone seen this anywhere?

 

 

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