The Honor Roll

By Edgar Albert Guest

The boys upon the honor roll, God bless them all, I pray!
God watch them when they sleep at night, and guard them through the day.
We’ve stamped their names upon our walls, the list in glory grows,
Our brave boys and our splendid boys who stand to meet our foes.

Oh, here are sons of mothers fair and fathers fine and true,
The little ones of yesterday, the children that we knew;
We thought of them as youngsters gay, still laughing at their games,
And then we found the honor roll emblazoned with their names.

We missed their laughter and their cheer; it seems but yesterday
We had them here to walk with us, and now they’ve marched away.
And here where once their smiles were seen we keep a printed scroll;
The absent boy we long to see is on the honor roll.

So quickly did the summons come we scarcely marked the change,
One day life marched its normal pace, the next all things seemed strange,
And when we questioned where they were, the sturdiest of us all,
We saw the silent honor roll on each familiar wall.

The laughter that we knew has gone; the merry voice of youth
No longer rings where graybeards sit, discussing sombre truth.
No longer jests are flung about to rouse our weary souls,
For they who meant so much to us are on our honor rolls.

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