Taps in the Moonlight

Recently, I acquired a few dingy, yellowed newspaper clippings, circa WW2. When I discovered them they were tucked away in a tattered manilla folder. Forgotten. Overlooked. unnamed.jpg

Evidently, the editors of the Houston Chronicle selected and printed stories and poems written and submitted by soldiers and their families during WW2.

A poem caught my attention. After reading it, I felt obliged to ascertain whether or not I could unearth any information on the soldier or poem. After a few Google searches I realized my quest was going nowhere. The words of the poem, like the clipping entombed in the manilla folder, had long since been forgotten.

I read the poem again several times. Each time thinking how unfortunate it was that the poem never found its’ way into a publication barring the newspaper. The sentiments of a soldier trapped in a manila prison for who knows how many years.

The clippings outset? One can only speculate. Perhaps the soldiers mother. I picture her sitting at the kitchen table, shaking hands, painstakingly cutting the poem free from the confines of the articles on the same page. For all one knows, the preserver of war time sentiments could have been his one and only. She, reading the words and wiping away tears and longing for her soldier to return home. Fearful that his printed words might serve as the last communication she ever secured.

Whatever the scenario, someone, somewhere cared deeply for the words penned by a Marine stationed in the Pacific.  unnamed (2)

My curiosity led me on another wild goose chase. Whether or not I stumbled on the right 2nd Armored Amphibian Battalion of the Marine Corps is yet to be determined.  I can, however, daydream about the possibility. History aficionados, peruse the 2nd Armored Amphibian Battalion Archives.  Please let me know if you stumble across a Marine named, SGT. Eugene S. Lyne Jr.

SGT. Eugene S. Lyne Jr., thank you for your service sir. Gone I’m sure but not forgotten. 

Taps In The Moonlight

A day of fight, the battle won,

The decks swabbed down, oil your gun;

An early moon soothes battle’s scars –

The stillness, silence, unperturbed

Is suddenly broken, no – disturbed

By a soothing, haunting melody that shall

Even enrapture reverie,

A song that is stirring by its might —

Taps on the bugle in the still of the night,

Day is gone,

Gone the sun —

As the first of the silvery notes die away,

With them go the trials of the day.

Forgotten is the battle’s horror,

Forgotten is my longing, sorrow

For those, their duty forever done.

Whose souls have followed the setting sun.

A dirge for the dead (no better can be had)

Soft, pleading, reassuring, yet sad,

From the lakes,

From the hills,

From the skys —

How fluently the notes go on!

A lingering echo. then they are gone.

All is well,

Safety rest.

God is nigh.

Clearly the triumphant word rings out,

All is well, sleep, for He is about.

By day we fight for what is His,

At night he blesses us with this.

Then in the distance the notes are lost,

They’ll be heard again tomorrow; I wonder at what cost?

The soothing, sobbing notes in the night.

Taps on the bugle in the calm moonlight.

Written by: SGT. Eugene S. Lyne Jr. U.S.M.C. ‘D’ Company, 2nd Armored Amphibian , Son of Mr. and Mrs. E.E Lyne of La Porte, Texas


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