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.
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.