Penned against the backdrop of fall and spring reunion weekends at West Point when returning members of the Long Gray Line venture out onto the Plain and Trophy Point in the early morning hours before the Alumni Review...and in that time remember.                         

In Their Eyes ©


Ere cloaking Hudson mist gave birth to pensive early dawn

And warming sun imbued the day with color’s magic wand

Some walked the quiet of that time recalling what had been

When younger then, they too were called, a country to defend


So much the same, the sight and sound and scent upon the wind

Roused memory of former times, sweet chapters deep within

When first the Corps assembled there, uncertain what to be

Til men of worth and men of faith saw clear its destiny


Three hallowed words would cross their lips, a motto ever be

The first was DUTY, selfless love, to serve a nation free

Then HONOR next, a guarding shield against the tempter’s sting

And COUNTRY followed, sacred trust, of which they’d often sing


The river’s might, the circling hills, beneath God’s brilliant arch

Called forth to mind those harried times when they, too, formed to march

When shoes and brass were made to shine, and belts the purest white

Were donned on black trimmed coats of gray, beneath a dress hat bright


So many years have passed them by since first they wore the gray

When light their step and clear their eye, they savored each new day

Those happy times of West Point years, when bonds for life were made

Til oaths were sworn and forth they went, their mettle to be weighed


Still on they walk on legs grown old, with eyes that strain to see

But gaining strength with every step, infused by history

By classmates gone whose deeds on earth live on in mind and heart

Remembered friends in marbled stone who bravely did their part


What’s that they hear upon the Plain, but sound of fife and drum

As turn they all to join a class whose time to march has come

And march they do with heads held high before the grateful throng

And with them wait for freedom’s band to call the new guard on


The granite walls release their hold and free the waiting Corps

Young men and women marching forth to martial music score

They pass the Line, their span of years, as eyes look right to see

And in their eyes catch full a glimpse of who they’ll one day be


All sense a spirit in the air, a bond across the stage

As eyes grow moist and hearts beat fast, uniting all in age

The young march off and leave the plain, the stirring music dies

But those who stay, inspired so, renew their lifelong ties


God grant them mercy in your will, the Black and Gold and Gray

To find a servant’s resting place, when comes the final day

With family, friends, The Long Gray Line, eternity to share

Immortal life by heaven’s grace with all who gather there