Over the mists of a century they come, and their tramping feet
Are light as the dust on the broad highway, or the wind that sways in the wheat;
Out of the haze of the years between their shadowy hands stretch wide
To welcome the heroes home again who have fought for their cause and died.
They went to battle at Concord Bridge, and they fell on Bunker Hill;
The odds were great, but they struggled on with a stubborn Yankee will;
They lay in the fields at Lexington when the sun in the west was red,
And the next year's violets grew on the spot where their valiant blood was shed.
But they won in the end—with their broken guns and without much food to spare,
Won at the end of a bitter war, by means that they knew were fair;
And some of them wandered back to their plows, and some lay wrapped in the loam,
And slept the sleep of the fearless heart that has fought at home—for home!
Fought for their homes, at home, they did—but these other boys today
Fought for the homes of stranger folk three thousand miles away;
Fought for the honor of the world, and were not afraid to die
In a muddy trench, in a foreign land, and under a foreign sky!
They fought on the Marne, at Belleau Wood; they swept through the mad Argonne;
Chateau-Thierry was theirs to take; they took it and then surged on;
And now that the fight they fought is won, though they lie in a far-olf grave,
Their souls come back to the land they loved—the land that they left to save.
And so, through the damp of the sorry sea, through the wreck of the shell-torn plain,
They are coming back to homes they loved—they are coming back again!
And light as the wind that sways in the wheat, or the dust on the broad highway,
They march to their rendezvous with the ones who died in the yesterday.