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Poetic Reflections

Cydymdeimlad a Mr. Owen M. Thomas ac Elinor ei wraig, gynt o Ddolgaregddu, Ffestiniog, G. C. ond yn awr yn Fairhaven, Vt; ar forwolaeth eu hanwyl fab John, milwr perthynol i'r 5ed gatrawd o wirfoddolion Vt, yr hwn a laddwyd yn mrwydr y Wilderness, VA Mai 5ed 1864, yn 17 mlwydd a 3 mis oed.

Sympathy to Mr. Owen M. Thomas and Elinor his wife, late of Dolgaregddu, Ffestiniog, North Wales but now living in Fairhaven, VT; on the death of their dear son John, a soldier belonging to the 5th Regiment of Vermont Volunteers, who was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness, VA May 5th 1864, aged 17 years and 3 months.

Pwy all ddeall iaith och'neidiau
Dwysion glywir yn ein gwlad?
Pwy all rif'r helltion ddagrau
Wlychant ruddiau llawer tad;
Arfau miniog rwygant galon
Mamau tyner, haawddgar wedd,
Wrth adgofio am eu meibion
Laddwyd gan angeuol gledd.
Yn eu mysg mi'ch gwelaf chwithau
Yn ofidus iawn yn awr,
Wedi colli'ch mab hawddgaraf
Draw ar faes y fyddin fawr.
Syrthio wnaeth yn archolledig
Gyda mil a llawer mwy;
Cludo baner buddigoliaeth
Fu'n farwolaeth iddynt hwy.
Aeth i'r fyddin yn wirfoddol,
Llwyr ymroddodd dros ei wlad,
Pan mae'r ymdrech gelyniaethol
Yn y De am wneyd ein brad;
Dryllio Sumter gynt fu'n arwydd
Fod rhyw dywydd du yn dod;
Gwelodd yntau'r angenrheidrwydd
Ddwyn y cledd, fe haedda glod.

'Rwyf yn gwybod i chwi gladdu
Anwyl blant oedd i chwi'n gu
Mawr fu'ch galar dwys pryd hyny
Wrth eu dwyn i'r ddaear ddu;
Ond o holl gystuddiau'ch bywyd,
Ni bu brath mor ddwfn i'ch bron,
Fel y brath a'r clwyfau gafwyd
Pan fu farw'ch anwyl John.

Ond dymunwn i chwi gofio
Dan eich trallod trwm a'ch loes,
Na bu farw'n ddigymeriad,
Aflan, isel yn ie oes;
Fe fu farw'n anrhydeddus -
Marw'n filwr dewraf gaed,
Aberth fu ar allor rhyddid,
Dros gyfiawnder rhoes ei waed.

Gwaed ein milwyr dyr gadwynau
Caethion fyrdd yn chwilfriw man;
Gwaed ein milwyr rwyma'r Undeb
Yn drag'wyddol heb wahan;
Gwaed ein milwyr sy'n cysegru
Holl derfynau maith ein tir,
Yn breswylfa byth i ryddid,
Heddwch a dedwyddwch hir.

Er i'r cleddyf a'i drwyanodd
Ef eich brathu dan eich bron,
Nad oes eli all eich gwella,
Tra bo'ch ar y ddaiar hon;
Ond mae gobaith ail gyfarfod,
Nid yw'r diwrnod ddim yn mhell,
Llwyr iacheir eich clwyfus deimlad
Un y wlad a'r ardal well.

Newark, Ohio     David Price

I will think of thee in Spring time,
And in the fruitful Summer's prime;
And when the Autumn leaf is red,
And when the Winter snow is spread,
And above the lonely grave
If ever I see it. --- His mother.

Who can understand the sighing
Heard so deeply in our land?
Who can count the salty tears
On fathers' cheeks on every hand.

Weapons tear the hearts of mothers,
Gently weeping for their sons,
Sweet-faced, mourning for their loved ones
Killed by war's death-dealing guns.

In the midst of them I see you
Cast down by your weight of woe,
Having lost your dearest soldier
On the field where armies go.


Along with many thousand comrades,
Wounds of battle brought him down.
Carrying the flag of victory
Laid them dead upon the ground.

Of its own free will, the army
Gave itself to save our land,
When the foes who sought our downfall
In the south raised treason's brand.


When the guns poured fire on Sumter,
heralds of these evil days;
He saw there was one thing needful -
Taking sword. May he be praised.


Well I know you oft have mourned
Dear children whom you loved before.
Great your grief when those small coffins
You to earth's black darkness bore.

But of all your life's afflictions,
Never was your breast so chilled
As when you were brought the tidings
That your dear son John was killed.

But I urge you to remember
in your heavy grief and pain,
That he did not die ignobly,
Unclean, base, of evil fame.

No, he died an honored soldier -
Died for his own country's good,
Sacrificed on freedom's altar,
For righteousness he gave his blood.

Our soldiers' blood shall smash asunder
All the chains of slavery
Our soldiers' blood shall bind the Union
Eternally, inseparably;

Our nation, to its farthest bounds,
Our soldiers' blood has ever blessed
As the dwelling place of freedom,
Peace, and lifelong happiness.

Though the sword which pierced his heart
Stabbed you also in your breast,
So no balm could bring you healing
While upon this earth you rest .

Yet there's hope you'll meet once more,
The time is not too far away,
When your wounds shall all be healed
In that better land and day.

MILITARY RECORD: John M. Thomas, credited to Hubbardton, enlisted and mustered in as a private in Co. A, 5th Vermont Infantry, 3 November 1863. He was killed in action 5 May 1864 at the first day of the battle of the Wilderness.

SOURCES: Y Cynhadwr Americanaidd (The American Missionary) published in Remsen, NY June or July 1864; 1892 Revised Roster, p. 142 ff.

Translation by Grahame Davies, BBC, Cardiff, Wales; and Bob Roser, Irish Brigade Camp #4, SUVCW, Fredericksburg, VA.

Contributor: Bill McCarthy, courtesy of the Fredericksburg National Military Park

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