One breath, O my silent soul!
A perfumed thought--no more I ask, for the sake of all dead soldiers.
Buglers off in my armies!
At present I ask not you to sound;
Not at the head of my cavalry, all on their spirited horses,
With their sabres drawn and glistening, and carbines clanking by their
thighs--(ah, my brave horsemen! My handsome, tan-faced horsemen!
what life, what joy and pride, With all the perils, were yours!)
Nor you drummers--neither at _reveille_, at dawn,
Nor the long roll alarming the camp--nor even the muffled beat for a
Nothing from you, this time, O drummers, bearing my warlike drums.
But aside from these, and the crowd's hurrahs, and the land's
Admitting around me comrades close, unseen by the rest, and voiceless,
I chant this chant of my silent soul, in the name of all dead soldiers.
Faces so pale, with wondrous eyes, very dear, gather closer yet;
Draw close, but speak not.
Phantoms, welcome, divine and tender!
Invisible to the rest, henceforth become my companions;
Follow me ever! desert me not, while I live!
Sweet are the blooming cheeks of the living, sweet are the musical voices
But sweet, ah sweet, are the dead, with their silent eyes.
Dearest comrades! all now is over;
But love is not over--and what love, O comrades!
Perfume from battlefields rising--up from foetor arising.
Perfume therefore my chant, O love! immortal love!
Give me to bathe the memories of all dead soldiers.
Perfume all! make all wholesome!
O love! O chant! solve all with the last chemistry.
Give me exhaustless--make me a fountain,
That I exhale love from me wherever I go,
For the sake of all dead soldiers.