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Count not the cost of honour to the dead!
The tribute that a mighty nation pays
To those who loved her well in former days
Means more than gratitude for glories fled;
For every noble man that she hath bred,
Lives in the bronze and marble that we raise,
Immortalized by art's immortal praise,
To lead our sons as he our fathers led.
These monuments of manhood strong and high
Do more than forts or battle-ships to keep
Our dear-bought liberty.
The heart of youth with valour wise and deep;
They build eternal bulwarks, and command
Eternal strength to guard our native land.
Top Henry Van Dyke Poems