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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Poem - by Richard

This poem is published with verbal permission of Richard Adams, USMA 1967.  For more of Richard's work, visit his website: http://richardbarlowadams.com/

The following was penned against the backdrop of fall and spring reunion weekends at West Point when returning members of the Long Gray Line venture out in the early morning hours onto the Plain and Trophy Point before the Alumni Review, and in that time remember… 

                                       In Their Eyes
                            Richard B. Adams, USMA 1967 

                Ere cloaking Hudson mist gave birth to pensive early dawn
                And warming sun imbued the day with color’s magic wand
                Some walked the quiet of that time recalling what had been
                When younger then, they too were called, a country to defend

                So much the same, the sight and sound and scent upon the wind
                Roused memory of former times, sweet chapters deep within
                When first the Corps assembled there uncertain what to be
                Til men of worth and men of faith saw clear its destiny

                Three hallowed words would cross their lips, a motto ever be
                The first was DUTY, selfless love, to serve a nation free
                Then HONOR next, a guarding shield against the tempter’s sting
                And COUNTRY followed, sacred trust, of which they’d often sing

                The river’s might, the circling hills, beneath God’s brilliant arch
                Called forth to mind those harried times when they, too, formed to march
                When shoes and brass were made to shine and belts the purest white
                Were donned on black trimmed coats of gray, beneath a dress hat bright

                Behind them lay so much of life since first they wore the gray
                When light their step and clear their eye, they savored each new day
                Those happy times of West Point years, when bonds for life were made
                Til oaths were sworn and forth they went their mettle to be weighed

                Still on they walk on legs grown old, with eyes that strain to see
                But gaining strength with every step infused by history
                By classmates gone whose deeds on earth live on in mind and heart
                Remembered friends in marbled stone who bravely did their part

                What’s that they hear upon the Plain, but sound of fife and drum
                As turn they all to join a class whose time to march has come
                And march they do with heads held high before the grateful throng
                And with them wait for freedom’s band to call the new guard on

                The granite walls release their hold and free the waiting Corps
                Young men and women marching forth to martial music score   
                They pass the Line, their span of years, as eyes look right to see
                And in their eyes catch full a glimpse of who they’ll one day be

                All sense a spirit in the air, a bond across the stage
                As eyes grow moist and hearts beat fast uniting all in age
                The young march off and leave the plain, the stirring music dies
                But those who stay, inspired so, renew their lifelong ties

                God grant them mercy in your will, the Black and Gold and Gray
                To find a servant’s resting place when comes the final day
                With family, friends, The Long Gray Line, eternity to share
                Immortal life by heaven’s grace with all who gather there


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