For years I saw the sunup betimes.
The weary mornings, the gloomy vespers;
Life was still beautiful and astir.
I laughed at strange places.
I cried for unknown people.
I’ve been to the last milestone.
I’ve seen the last man.
Ah! my country’s length and breadth…
From the glow of the youth,
To the first wrinkle of the age.
Unconditionally, I gave you all.
Today when the day has finally come,
And I have to put my stripes away;
I am glad I chose to wear blue.
All these years, the indelible years…