John F. Kennedy

They stood five men at the catafalque
Motionless and mute and still
Erect, alert, aware of the grief
Of the people on the hill;
But most of all the gallant heart
That's stilled, is lying there
Under the draped flag of old glory
In the coffin that is in their care.

The measured tread of the changing guard
The click of the leader's heel
And five others take the place
Of the watchers over the steel,
For what was once the spirit brave
An idealist heart so proud,
Lies now in the rotunda of the hall
Passed by a grieving crowd.

They gave their farewells to a brave spirit
A leader of freedoms call
Cut down in his prime, victim
He has paid his all.

by Bernice Brigham

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