Civil War Poem: “The Blue and the Gray,” by Francis Miles Finch

Video of Francis Miles Finch reading “The Blue & the Gray”

The Blue and the Gray
by Francis Miles Finch

By the flow of an inland river,
When the fleets of iron have fled
Where the blades of the grave grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead.

Under the sod and the dew
Waiting the judgment day
Under the one the Blue,
Under the other the Gray.

From the silence of sorrowful hearts
The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
Alike, for the friend and the foe.

Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment day;
Under the roses, the Blue,
Under the lilies, the Gray.

Sadly, but not with upbraiding,
The generous deed was done.
In the storms of the years that are fading,
No braver battle was won.

Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment day;
Under the blossoms, the Blue,
Under the garlands, the Gray.

No more shall the war cry sever
Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever
When they laurel the graves of our dead.

Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting for Judgment day
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray.

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  1. I am flumoxed by the virtual reading of the poem by Finch considering that he died in 1907. How’d they do that? An anime developed from a portrait? I’m behind the times on many things, including the ability to do such a thing as this! Thank you for bringing it to me/us. It is a marvelous poem however we read it or hear it. A great series!

  2. A wonderful poem …I have put this wonderful poem to music (not to be published) and it makes a beautiful and soulful song.

  3. Henry,

    Any chance you might send the poem set to music to my father. He’s the one who asked me to post the poem. He loves music as you must also.


  4. First read this poem close to 60 years ago. Glad to have found it so that I can expose my grandson to it. Hope it affects him as it did me. This is “where all the flowers have gone”.

  5. Francis Miles Finch was my great grandfather who I know only through reading about him and enjoying his poems. One of the posts (Henry) said that he had put the poem to music. I am learning guitar and would love to be in touch with whoever is putting this great song to music. Hoping that Henry and whoever else is doing this will post what they are doing with these uplifting verses.

    (Anne) Christine (Guerlac) Tomovich

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