Representing nothing on God's earth now, And naught in the waters below it, As the pledge of a nation that's dead and gone, Keep it, dear friend, and show it. Show it to those who will lend an ear To the tale that this trifle can tell Of Liberty born of the patriot's dream, Of a storm-cradled nation that fell. Too poor to possess the precious ores, And too much of a stranger to borrow, We issued to-day our promise to pay, And hoped to redeem on the morrow. The days rolled by and weeks became years, But our coffers were empty still; Coin was so rare that the treasury'd quake If a dollar should drop in the till. But the faith that was in us was strong, indeed, And our poverty well we discerned, And this little check represented the pay That our suffering veterans earned. We knew it had hardly a value in gold, Yet as gold each soldier received it; It gazed in our eyes with a promise to pay, And each Southern patriot believed it. But our boys thought little of price or of pay, Or of bills that were overdue; We knew if it brought us our bread to-day, 'Twas the best our poor country could do. Keep it, it tells all our history o'er, From the birth of our dream to its last; Modest, and born of the Angel Hope, Like our hope of success, it passed.
LINES ON A CONFEDERATE NOTE by Major Sidney Alroy Jonas (?-1915)
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Last modified 18-April-2001