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At Appomattox

by Carl Holliday

What shall we say? Was it at last defeat
That leader of the weary army gained?
When those two knights of North and South did meet
Upon that final field with blood so stained,
Was one the vanquished, one the victor there?
O patriots, no; on that sad day of peace
There was no sign of conquest anywhere,
But only two great hearts content to cease
The strife and live at peace, the battle done.
And who was greater of the twain that day?
Ah, ask not that. One lost, the other won;
Each followed his ideal all the way.
It matters little if we win not goals,
But much how goals are kept before our souls.

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