GHOSTS IN GRAY
Beneath the fading stars they pass, too dim for mortal sight,
Shadows moving in the mist, before dawn’s first pale light.
They have arisen rank on rank, to rejoin the fight,
And a lonely fife is playing ‘Dixie’ somewhere in the night.
From a hundred battlefields where rebel blood once flowed,
From the ruined ramparts where the rebel color showed,
Still true to their defeated cause and to their soldiers’ code,
Ghosts in gray go marching down a dusty southern road.
Some say they are not what they seem and that we are deceived,
But phantoms can be more than dreams for those who will believe.
A call to arms has wakened them from solitary sleep;
Their exiled brothers they have joined, with pledges yet to keep.
And though no man is left to morn, no woman left to weep,
They did not lie forgotten, southern mem’ries run too deep.
They have but a few hours here before they fade away,
Departing from this world with the coming of the day.
May they find the peace at last that they deserve, I pray,
And as they pass by, I salute those gallant ghosts in gray.
Stephen Brooke ©1992
Yeah, another pretty old one. I used to perform this one on occasion but hadn't played it in a while -- probably last time at a coffeehouse in Tampa five or six years ago. When I pulled it out, I found a couple words I felt could be rewritten but this is pretty much the original version.
I have no illusions about the 'Southern Cause' or anything -- I had been to a few Civil War re-enactments and just thought I'd try to write something appropriate for them. It's really a bit florid and not particularly authentic to my 'art.'