This poem may have had, like many others, a personal origin. It is more than probable that it was sent to some friend travelling in Europe, a dainty reminder of letter-writing delinquencies.
Of tribulation these are they
Denoted by the white;
The spangled gowns, a lesser rank
Of victors designate.
All these did conquer; but the ones
Who overcame most times
Wear nothing commoner than snow,
No ornament but palms.
Surrender is a sort unknown
On this superior soil;
Defeat, an outgrown anguish,
Remembered as the mile
Our panting ankle barely gained
When night devoured the road;
But we stood whispering in the house,
And all we said was “Saved”!