A Stirring Poem

Our Deathless Dead (or, How Shall We Honor Them?)
a longer work dedicated to those who have sacrified for "old glory".

"How shall we honor them, our Deathless Dead?
With strew of laurel and the stately tread?
With blaze of banners brightening overhead?
Nay, not alone these cheaper praises bring:
They will not have this easy honoring. 

How shall we honor them, our Deathless Dead?...
How keep their mighty memories alive?
In him who feels their passion, they survive!"

These words were shared in a memorial service by the Rev. Fred Mesch on October 26, 1939 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was the occasion of the merger of the Methodist Protestant Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Episcopal Church, North. A vote of the conference used the inclusion of his stirring words in offical history of the Methodist Episcopal Church, North in Oklahoma by H.E. Brill .

Mesch was  using the poem as a symbol of all the pioneer church workers of the M.E.Church, North lest they be forgotten and their zeal fall by the wayside in the new unified Methodist Church. It was a clarion call back to the ethos and mission of John Wesley and the spiritual fire that consumed previous generations committed to winning the lost and bringing them to Jesus Christ.

The poem often found as annoymous was apparently the work of Edwin Markham (1852-1940) in is found in the book Lincoln & Other Poems in 1901, on page 36.  It was reprinted in the Christian Nation in 1903 (v.38).  This periodical was a collection of sermon stories, illustrations, poems, and similar helps for the church leader.


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