In the futile attempt to find the true origin and original lyrics to The Hearse Song for use in preface to an essay on funerals I stumbled upon a dark poem of both gothic horror and romance. The central theme of the story can be traced all the way back into the mists of ancient history and has appeared in many, many forms ever since. The poem appeals to me on so many levels; the several romantic ideals of courtship, love, chastity, beauty, youth, heroism, manly strength, honor, fidelity, hope and life’s promise; but also touches deeply on my own feelings toward my once beloved country.
Once a patriot and soldier,
If America were a woman, what would I say to her?
O Perfidy! O Treason! O Mockery and Betrayal!
Have I not loved thee enough to lay down my very life for you?
Have I not loved thee enough to die spiritually in battle for you?
America! America! thou spoilt, corrupt and faithless wretch!