LITUANUS
LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
 
Volume 15, No.3 - Fall 1969
Editors of this issue: Antanas Klimas, Ignas K. Skrupskelis
Copyright 1969 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
Lituanus

OWEN J. C. NOREM

The Planting of The Ivy 
From The Tomb of 
George Washington at The 
The Memorial Cairn in Kaunas

I stood by the simple Cairn
   That marked a heroes grave;
My mission one of friendship 
   To honor all the brave.

As I stood by this great Memorial
   Many thoughts came orderly by; 
I thought of the time immemorial
   When the proud pagans watched the sky.

A great and wonderful people they were,
   Ruling peoples from sea to sea; 
They rode their swift chargers to victory
'   Against Teuton, Tartar, Slav all three.

The enemy swore that their lance was too sharp, 
   That they showed no compunction of fear;
So they tried a welcome and urged them to stay: 
   Give us rule and security we hold dear.

                    ***

Which stone in the Cairn was for King Gediminas?
   Which one for the great Vytautas? 
Ah, their spirits were here in this land so dear,
   Invoking the zeal that once was.

I watched the young soldier emerge from the shade
   And light the fire on the altar; 
A page from the past and I hoped it would last
   And remain a bright guiding star.

I saw that each stone served a purpose
   Upholding the lines placed so true; 
At. the very top a glorious cross
   Sealing faith in that last rendezvous.

                   ***

From the nearby museum
   With measured tread they came; 
The veterans of freedom wars,
   Men of courage matching those of fame.

Each one of this band
   Knew the place they would stand. 
This was the daily observance.
   Soon would come my taking a hand.

I held in my hand some Ivy Plants
   That had rooted by Washington's Tomb.
A living tribute from grave to Cairn
   Symbolizing national friendship in bloom.

Ceremonies seem all too short
   But memories are long and not forgotten. 
I said "Sudieu" to those who were there,
   We all by the Cross said Amen.