Page i WAR-LYRICS AND O THER POEMS. BY HENRY HOWARD BROWNELL. BOSTON: TICKNOR AND FIELDS. i 866. I
Page ii Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by TICKNOR AND FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts UNIVERSITY PRESS: WELCH, BIGELOW, & CO., CAMBRIDGEIL
Page iii TO THE VICE-ADMIRAL" DAVID GLASGOW FARRAGUT. SIR, Permit me to inscribe to you this book, a part of which is due to the inspiration of your deeds and your example. What you have been in war is known to your country, to her enemies, and to the world; but only those who have had the honor of approaching you nearly can know how great is your love for peace, how real your kindliness, how true your feeling for nature, your interest in art, letters, and science, how genial, even in the roughest times, your sense of wit and humor and of all the amenities of social life. It is in remembrance of these traits, and of the personal friendship you were pleased to accord me while serving under your command, that I once again write myself, Very respectfully, Your obedient servant, THE AUTHOR. k,,' t.'. -.1. 1. -4
Page iv I
Page v CONTENTS. PAGE 23 *. *. *. *.35 37 *. *.43 47 *. *. *. *.49 . ~. 51 ... *.56 59 * * * * 60 ... 62 ...*.65 67 ....68 .. ~ 69 ....~~70 ... 70 72 * * * ~~74 THE BAY FIGHT... THE RIVER FIGHT. ANNUS MEMIORABILIS. THE BATTLE SUMMERS. SUSPIRIA ENSIS... DOWN!.... WVORDS THAT CAN BE SUNG THE EAGLE OF CORINTH THE COLOR-BEARER. A WAR STUDY.. BURY THEM... WOOD AND COAL.. NIGHT-QUARTERS.. COMING..... SUMTER.... APRIL 19, 1775- 1861.. ON FIRE.... LET US ALONE... THE MARCH OF THE REGIMENT 0
Page vi CONTENTS. LINES BY OUR CORPORAL.. HEARTS OF OAK...... ON THE KILLING OF CERTAIN DOGS MR CARLYLE'S CHIMNEY THE FALL OF AL-ACCOUB.. ONE WORD.... ONLY A WORD.... SOMNIA CCELI...... THE BATTLE OF CHARLESTOWN. HONEST ABE.... THE CAMP OF NOVEMBRER.. ABRAHAM LINCOLN.. MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. PSYCHAURA...... OLD PAPERS..... ALL TOGETHER..... SUSPIRIA NOCTIS... To THE POET..... GONE....... PRESENTIMENT.... MIDNIGHT-A LAMENT, OCCIDENTE...... NOVEMBER, BY L E. B., MARE NON CLAUSUM.. vi 79 82 ..84 . 96 88 . 96 99 . 100 log . III 114 . ii6 . 141 I42 . 144 146 . 147 i.48 . 149 150 . I52 I52 ... I54
Page vii CONTENTS. THE BURIAL OF THE DANE...... I55 AD NAVEM............ I58 THE RETURN OF KANE........ 159 AT SEA............. I6I ALONE.............. 164 WAITING FOR THE SHIP, BY C. D'W. B.. 165 IN ARTICULO MORTIS......... I66 SONG OF THE ARCHANGELS....... I167 APRIS LA SOMMEIL.......... I68 THE CHANGELING.......... 169 TWILIGHT........... I69 RAPPORT.........1..I70 QU'IL MOURUT.......... 170 THE STEAM SPIRIT......1.. I7I LINES BY A PARSINGER........I74 EARLY POEMS. " EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY". 179 PLACE DE LA REVOLUTION.. I8I THE TOMB OF COLUMBUS......... 183 THE SPHINX. I89 THE BOOK............ I92 PHILIP THE FREED-MAN...... I195 THE NURSE OF NERO........I97 THE PORTRAIT........., I98 vii THE BURIAL OF THE DANIE. AD NAvEm.. THE RETURN OF KANE
Page viii CONTENTS. ... 200 .. 20I .. 204 ~. 205 To JOHN....... THE PASSING-BELL..~ OBED THE SKIPPER.2 JACK'S VISITOR.... DIES IRA...... ... 226 .. N.. 227 N......... 228 To.2 REGRI SOMNIA ANACREONTIC. THE ADIEU. LONG AGO. .N... 23I NOTES. viii DEPARTED. . 2I7 224 230 233
Page 1 THE BAY FIGHT. (MOBILE BAY, AUGUST 5, I864.) "On the forecastle, Ulf the Red Watched the lashing of the ships'If the Serpent lie so far ahead, We shall have hard work of it here,' Said he." LONGFELLOW'S "Saga of kixg OZaf.' HREE days through sapphire seas we sailed, The steady Trade blew strong and free, The Northern Light his banners paled, The Ocean Stream our channels wet, We rounded low Canaveral's lee, And passed the isles of emerald set In blue Bahama's turquoise sea: By reef and shoal obscurely mapped, And hauntings of the gray sea-wolf, The palmy Western Key lay lapped In the warm washing of the Gulf But weary to the hearts of all The burning glare, the barren reach Of Santa Rosa's withered beach, And Pensacola's ruined wall. I[ A
Page 2 2 And weary was the long patrol, The thousand miles of shapeless strand, From Brazos to San Blas that roll Their drifting dunes of desert sand. Yet, coast-wise as we cruised or lay, The land-breeze still at nightfall bore, By beach and fortress-guarded bay, Sweet odors from the enemy's shore, Fresh from the forest solitudes, Unchallenged of his sentry lines The bursting of his cypress buds, And the warm fragrance of his pines. Ah, never braver bark and crew, Nor bolder Flag a foe to dare, Had left a wake on ocean blue Since Lion-Heart sailed Trenc-le-mer /I1 But little gain by that dark ground Was ours, save, sometime, freer breath For friend or brother strangely found, 'Scaped from the drear domain of death.' And little venture for the bold, Or laurel for our valiant Chief, Save some blockaded British thief, Full fraught with murder in his hold,
Page 3 3 Caught unawares at ebb or flood - Or dull bombardment, day by day, With fort and earth-work, far away, Low couched in sullen leagues of mud. A weary time,-but to the strong The day at last, as ever, came; And the volcano, laid so long, Leaped forth in thunder and in flame! "Man your starboard battery!" Kimberly shoutedThe ship, with her hearts of oak, Was going, mid roar and smoke, On to victory! None of us doubted, No, not our dying Farragut's Flag was flying! Gaines growled low on our left, Morgan roared on our right Before us, gloomy and fell, With breath like the fume of hell, Lay the Dragon of iron shell, Driven at last to the fight! Ha, old ship! do they thrill, The brave two hundred scars You got in the River-WVars? That were leeched with clamorous skill,
Page 4 4 (Surgery savage and hard,) Splinted with bolt and beam, Probed in scarfing and seam, Rudely linted and tarred With oakum and boiling pitch, And sutured with splice and hitch, At the Brooklyn Navy-Yard! Our lofty spars were down, To bide the battle's frown, (Wont of old renown)But every ship was drest In her bravest and her best, As if for a July day; Sixty flags and three, As we floated up the bayEvery peak and mast-head flew The brave Red, White, and Blue We were eighteen ships that day. With hawsers strong and taut, The weaker lashed to port, On we sailed, two by two That if either a bolt should feel Crash through caldron or wheel, Fin of bronze or sinew of steel, Her mate might bear her through. Steadily nearing the head, The great Flag-Ship led,
Page 5 5 Grandest of sights! On her lofty mizen flew Our Leader's dauntless Blue, That had waved o'er twenty fights So we went, with the first of the tide, Slowly, mid the roar Of the Rebel guns ashore And the thunder of each full broadside. Ah, how poor the prate Of statute and state We once held with these fellows Here, on the flood's pale-green, Hark how he bellows, Each bluff old Sea-Lawyer! Talk to them, Dahlgren, Parrott, and Sawyer! On, in the whirling shade Of the cannon's sulphury breath, We drew to the Line of Death That our devilish Foe had laidMeshed in a horrible net, And baited villanous well, Right in our path were set Three hundred traps of hell! And there, O sight forlorn! There, while the cannon Hurtled and thundered (Ah, what ill raven
Page 6 6 Flapped o'er the ship that morn!) Caught by the under-death, In the drawing of a breath Down went dauntless Craven, He and his hundred! A moment we saw her turret, A little heel she gave, And a thin white spray went o'er her, Like the crest of a breaking wave In that great iron coffin, The channel for their grave, The fort their monument, (Seen afar in the offing,) Ten fathom deep lie Craven, And the bravest of our brave. Then, in that deadly track, A little the ships held back, Closing up in their stations There are minutes that fix the fate Of battles and of nations, (Christening the generations,) When valor were all too late, If a moment's doubt be harbored From the main-top, bold and brief, Came the word of our grand old Chief "Go on!"'twas all he saidOur helm was put to starboard, And the Hartford passed ahead.
Page 7 7 Ahead lay the Tennessee, On our starboard bow he lay, With his mail-clad consorts three, (The rest had run up the Bay)There he was, belching flame from his bow, And the steam from his throat's abyss Was a Dragon's maddened hiss In sooth a most cursed craft! - In a sullen ring at bay By the Middle Ground they lay, Raking us fore and aft. Trust me, our berth was hot, Ah, wickedly well they shot; How their death-bolts howled and stung! And the water-batteries played With their deadly cannonade Till the air around us rung; So the battle raged and roared Ah, had you been aboard To have seen the fight we made! How they leaped, the tongues of flame, From the cannon's fiery lip! How the broadsides, deck and frame, Shook the great ship! And how the enemy's shell Came crashing, heavy and oft, Clouds of splinters flying aloft
Page 8 8 And falling in oaken showers - But ah, the pluck of the crew! Had you stood on that deck of ours, You had seen what men may do. Still, as the fray grew louder, Boldly they worked and well; Steadily came the powder, Steadily came the shell. And if tackle or truck found hurt, Quickly they cleared the wreck; And the dead were laid to port, All a-row, on our deck. Never a nerve that failed, Never a cheek that paled, Not a tinge of gloom or pallor - There was bold Kentucky's grit, And the old Virginian valor, And the daring Yankee wit. There were blue eyes from turfy Shannon, There were black orbs from palmy NigerBut there, alongside the cannon, Each man fought like a tiger! A little, once, it looked ill, Our consort began to burnThey quenched the flames with a will, But our men were falling still, And still the fleet was astern.
Page 9 9 Right abreast of the Fort In an awful shroud they lay, Broadsides thundering away, And lightning from every port Scene of glory and dread! A storm-cloud all aglow With flashes of fiery redThe thunder raging below, And the forest of flags o'erhead I So grand the hurly and roar, So fiercely their broadsides blazed, The regiments fighting ashore Forgot to fire as they gazed. There, to silence the Foe, Moving grimly and slow, They loomed in that deadly wreath, Where the darkest batteries frowned Death in the air all round, And the black torpedoes beneath! And now, as we looked ahead, All for'ard, the long white deck Was growing a strange dull red; But soon, as once and agen Fore and aft we sped, (The firing to guide or check,) You could hardly choose but tread On the ghastly human wreck, I *
Page 10 IO (Dreadful gobbet and shred That a minute ago were men!) Red, from main-mast to bitts! Red, on bulwark and wale Red, by combing and hatch Red, o'er netting and rail! And ever, with steady con, The ship forged slowly byAnd ever the crew fought on, And their cheers rang loud and high. Grand was the sight to see How by their guns they stood, Right in front of our dead Fighting square abreast Each brawny arm and chest All spotted with black and red, Chrism of fire and blood! Worth our watch, dull and sterile, Worth all the weary timeWorth the woe and the peril, To stand in that strait sublime! Fear? A forgotten form! Death? A dream of the eyes! We were atoms in God's great storm That roared through the angry skies.
Page 11 II One only doubt was ours, One only dread we knewCould the day that dawned so well Go down for the Darker Powers? Would the fleet get through? And ever the shot and shell Came with the howl of hell, The splinter-clouds rose and fell, And the long line of corpses grew Would the fleet win through? * They are men that never will fail, (How aforetime they've fought!) But Murder may yet prevail They may sink as Craven sank. Therewith one hard, fierce thought, Burning on heart and lip, Ran like fire through the ship Fight her, to the last plank! A dimmer Renown might strike If Death lay square alongsideBut the Old Flag has no like, She must fight, whatever betide When the War is a tale of old, And this day's story is told, They shall hear how the Hartford died! But as we ranged ahead, And the leading ships worked in,
Page 12 12 Losing their hope to win The enemy turned and fledAnd one seeks a shallow reach, And another, winged in her flight, Our mate, brave Jouett, brings in And one, all torn in the fight, Runs for a wreck on the beach, Where her flames soon fire the night. And the Ram, when well up the Bay, And we looked that our stems should meet, (He had us fair for a prey,) Shifting his helm midway, Sheered off and ran for the fleet; There, without skulking or sham, He fought them, gun for gun, And ever he sought to ram, But could finish never a one. From the first of the iron shower Till we sent our parting shell, 'Twas just one savage hour Of the roar and the rage of hell. With the lessening smoke and thunder, Our glasses around we aim What is that burning yonder? Our Philippi, - aground and in flame! Below,'twas still all a-roar, As the ships went by the shore,
Page 13 13, But the fire of the Fort had slacked, (So fierce their volleys had been) - And now, with a mighty din, The whole fleet came grandly in, Though sorely battered and wracked. So, up the Bay we ran, The Flag to port and ahead; And a pitying rain began To wash the lips of our dead. A league from the Fort we lay, And deemed that the end must lag; WVhen lo! looking down the Bay, There flaunted the Rebel RagThe Ram is again underway And heading dead for the Flag! Steering up with the stream, Boldly his course he lay, Though the fleet all answered his fire, And, as he still drew nigher, Ever on bow and beam Our Monitors pounded away How the Chicasaw hammered away I Quickly breasting the wave, Eager the prize to win, First of us all the brave
Page 14 I4 Monongahela went in' Under full head of steamTwice she struck him abeam, Till her stem was a sorry work, (She might have run on a crag!) The Lackawana hit fair, He flung her aside like cork, And still he held for the Flag. High in the mizen shroud, (Lest the smoke his sight o'erwhelm,) Our Admiral's voice rang loud, "Hard-a-starboard your helm! Starboard! and run him down!" Starboard it was and so, Like a black squall's lifting frown, Our mighty bow bore down On the iron beak of the Foe. We stood on the deck together, Men that had looked on death In battle and stormy weather Yet a little we held our breath, When, with the hush of death, The great ships drew together. Our Captain strode to the bow, Drayton, courtly and wise, Kindly cynic, and wise, (You hardly had known him now, The flame of fight in his eyes!)
Page 15 I5 His brave heart eager to feel How the oak would tell on the steel! But, as the space grew short, A little he seemed to shun us, Out peered a form grim and lanky, And a voice yelled -" Hard-a-port! Hard-a-port! -here's the damned Yankee Coming right down on us!" He sheered, but the ships ran foul With a gnarring shudder and growl - He gave us a deadly gun; But as he passed in his pride, (Rasping right alongside!) The Old Flag, in thunder tones, Poured in her port broadside, Rattling his iron hide, And cracking his timber bones! Just then, at speed on the Foe, With her bow all weathered and brown, The great Lackawana came down, Full tilt, for another blow; We were forging ahead, She reversed-but, for all our pains, Rammed the old Hartford, instead, Just for'ard the mizzen chains! Ah! how the masts did buckle and bend, And the stout hull ring and reel,
Page 16 i6 As she took us right on end! (Vain were engine and wheel, She was under full steam) With the roar of a thunder-stroke Her two thousand tons of oak Brought up on us, right abeam! A wreck, as it looked, we lay - (Rib and plankshear gave way To the stroke of that giant wedge!) Here, after all, we goThe old ship is gone! - ah, no, But cut to the water's edge. Never mind, then -at him again! His flurry now can't last long; He'11 never again see landTry that on him, Marchand! On him again, brave Strong! Heading square at the hulk, Full on his beam we bore; But the spine of the huge Sea-Hog Lay on the tide like a log, He vomited flame no more. By this, he had found it hot Half the fleet, in an angry ring, Closed round the hideous Thing, Hammering with solid shot, And bearing down, bow on bow - 4
Page 17 17 He has but a minute to choose; Life or renown?- which now Will the Rebel Admiral lose? Cruel, haughty, and cold, He ever was strong and bold - Shall he shrink from a wooden stem? He will think of that brave band He sank in the Cumberland Aye, he will sink like them. Nothing left but to fight Boldly his last sea-fight! Can he strike? By heaven,'tis true Down comes the traitor Blue, And up goes the captive White! UJp went the White! Ah then The hurrahs that, once and agen, Rang from three thousand men All flushed and savage with fight! Our dead lay cold and stark, But our dying, down in the dark, Answered as best they mightLifting their poor lost arms, And cheering for God and Right I Ended the mighty noise, Thunder of forts and ships. Down we went to the hold - 0, our dear dying boys! B
Page 18 i8 How we pressed their poor brave lips, (Ah, so pallid and cold!) And held their hands to the last, (Those that had hands to hold). Still thee, O woman heart! (So strong an hour ago)If the idle tears must start, 'Tis not in vain they flow. They died, our children dear, On the drear berth deck they died; Do not think of them hereEven now their footsteps near The immortal, tender sphere(Land of love and cheer! Home of the Crucified!) And the glorious deed survives. Our threescore, quiet and cold, Lie thus, for a myriad lives And treasure-millions untold - (Labor of poor men's lives, Hunger of weans and wives, Such is war-wasted gold.) Our ship and her fame to-day Shall float on the storied Stream, When mast and shroud have crumbled away And her long white deck is a dream.
Page 19 I9 One daring leap in the dark, Three mortal hours, at the mostAnd hell lies stiff and stark On a hundred leagues of coast. For the mighty Gulf is ours The Bay is lost and won, An Empire is lost and won! Land, if thou yet hast flowers, Twine them in one more wreath Of tenderest white and red, (Twin buds of glory and death!) For the brows of our brave dead For thy Navy's noblest Son. Joy, 0 Land, for thy sons, Victors by flood and field! The traitor walls and guns Have nothing left but to yield (Even now they surrender!) And the ships shall sail once more, And the cloud of war sweep on To break on the cruel shore But Craven is gone, He and his hundred are gone. The flags flutter up and down At sunrise and twilight dim,
Page 20 20 The cannons menace and frown - But never again for him, Him and the hundred. The Dahlgrens are dumb, Dumb are the mortarsNever more shall the drum Beat to colors and quarters The great guns are silent. 0 brave heart and loyal! Let all your colors dip - Mourn him, proud Ship I From main deck to royal. God rest our Captain, Rest our lost hundred. Droop, flag and pennant! What is your pride for? Heaven, that he died for, Rest our Lieutenant, Rest our brave threescore. 0 Mother Land! this weary life We led, we lead, is'long of thee; Thine the strong agony of strife, And thine the lonely sea. Thine the long decks all slaughter-sprent, The weary rows of cots that lie
Page 21 21 W~ith wrecks of strong men, marred and rent, 'Neath Pensacola's sky. And thine the iron caves and dens Wherein the flame our war-fleet drives; The fiery vaults, whose breath is men's Most dear and precious lives. Ah, ever, when with storm sublime Dread Nature clears our murky air, Thus in the crash of falling crime Some lesser guilt must share. Full red the furnace fires must glow That melt the ore of mortal kind: The Mills of God are grinding slow, But ah, how close they grind I To-day the Dahlgren and the drum Are dread Apostles of his Name; His Kingdom here can only come By chrism of blood and flame. Be strong: already slants the gold Athwart these wild and stormy skies; From out this blackened waste, behold, What happy homes shall rise! But see thou well no traitor gloze, No striking hands with Death and Shame, Betray the sacred blood that flows So freely for thy name.
Page 22 22 And never fear a victor foe Thy children's hearts are strong and high; Nor mourn too fondly -well they know On deck or field to die. Nor shalt thou want one willing breath, Though, ever smiling round the brave, The blue sea bear us on to death, The green were one wide grave. U. S. Flag Ship Hartford, Mobile Bay, August, i864.
Page 23 23 THE RIVER FIGHT. (MISSISSIPPI RIVER, APRIL 24, z862.) DO you know of the dreary Land, If land such region may seem, Where'tis neither sea nor strand, Ocean nor good dry land, But the nightmare marsh of a dreamWhere the Mighty River his death-road takes, 'Mid pools, and windings that coil like snakes, (A hundred leagues of bayous and lakes,) To die in the great Gulf Stream? No coast-line clear and true, (Granite and deep sea blue,) On that dismal shore you pass Surf-worn boulder nor sandy beach, But ooze-flats far as the eye can reach, With shallows of water-grass Reedy savannas, vast and dun, Lying dead in the dim March sunHuge rotting trunks and roots that lie Like blackened bones of the Shapes gone by, And miles of sunken morass.
Page 24 24 No lovely, delicate thing Of life o'er the waste is seen - But the cayman couched by his weedy spring, And the pelican, bird uncleanOr the buzzard, flapping on heavy wing Like an evil ghost, o'er the desolate scene. Ah, many a weary day With our Leader there we lay, In the sultry haze and smoke, Tugging our ships o'er the barTill the Spring was wasted far, Till his brave heart almost brokeFor the sullen River seemed As if our intent he dreamed All his shallow mouths did spew and choke. But, ere April fully past, All ground over at last, And we knew the die was cast - Knew the day drew nigh To dare to the end one stormy deed, Might save the Land at her sorest need, Or on the old deck to die! Anchored we lay- and, a morn the more, To his captains and all his men Thus wrote our stout old Commodore - (He wasn't Admiral then:)
Page 25 25 GENERAL ORDERS. "Send your to'gallant masts down, Rig in each flying jib-boom! Clear all ahead for the loom Of traitor fortress and town, Or traitor fleet bearing down. In with your canvas high We shall want no sail to fly! Topsail and foresail, spanker and jib, (With the heart of oak in the oaken rib,) Shall serve us to win or die! Trim every hull by the head, (So shall you spare the lead,) Lest, if she ground, your ship swing round, Bows in-shore, for a wreck - See your grapnels all clear, with pains, And a solid kedge in your port main-chains, With a whip to the main-yard Drop it, heavy and hard, When you grapple a traitor deck! On forecastle and on poop Mount guns, as best you may deem - If possible, rouse them up, (For still you must bow the stream) - Als.o hoist and secure with stops Howitzers firmly in your tops, To fire on the foe abeam. 2
Page 26 26! Look well to your pumps and hose Have water-tubs, fore and aft, For quenching flame inyour craft, And the gun-crews' fiery thirstSee planks with felt fitted close, To plug every shot-hole tight Stand ready to meet the worst! For, if I have reckoned aright, They will serve us shot, both cold and hot, Freely enough, to-night. Mark well each signal I make(Our life-long service at stake, And honor that must not lag!) Whate'er the peril and awe, In the battle's fieriest flaw, Let never one ship withdraw Till orders come from the Flag!" Would you hear of the River-Fight? It was two, of a soft spring night - God's stars looked down on all, And all was clear and bright But the low fog's chilling breathUp the River of Death Sailed the Great Admiral. On our high poop-deck he stood, And round him ranged the men
Page 27 27 Who have made their birthright good Of manhood, once and agenLords of helm and of sail, Tried in tempest and gale, Bronzed in battle and wreckBell and Bailey grandly led Each his Line of the Blue and Red Wainwright stood by our starboard rail, Thornton fought the deck. And I mind me of more than they, Of the youthful, steadfast ones, That have shown them worthy sons Of the Seamen passed away(Tyson conned our helm, that day, Watson stood by his guns.) What thought our Admiral, then, Looking down on his men? Since the terrible day, (Day of renown and tears!) When at anchor the Essex lay, Holding her foes at bay, When, a boy, by Porter's side he stood Till deck and plank-shear were dyed with blood, 'Tis half a hundred years Half a hundred years, to-day! Who could fail, with him? Who reckon of life or limb? Not a pulse but beat the higher!
Page 28 28 There had you seen, by the star-light dim, Five hundred faces strong and grim The Flag is going under fire! Right up by the fort, with her helm hard-a-port, The Hartford is going under fire! The way to our work was plain, Caldwell had broken the chain, (Two hulks swung down amain, Soon as'twas sundered)Under the night's dark blue, Steering steady and true, Ship after ship went throughTill, as we hove in view, Jackson out-thundered. Back echoed Philip!- ah, then, Could you have seen our men, How they sprung, in the dim night haze, To their work of toil and of clamor! How the loaders, with sponge and rammer, And their captains, with cord and hammer, Kept every muzzle ablaze! How the guns, as with cheer and shout Our tackle-men hurled them out, Brought up on the water-ways! First, as we fired at their flash, 'Twas lightning and black eclipse, With a bellowing roll and crash -
Page 29 29 But soon, upon either bow, What with forts, and fire-rafts, and ships - (The whole fleet was hard at it, now, All pounding away!) -and Porter Still thundering with shell and mortar'Twas the mighty sound and form Of an Equatorial storm! (Such you see in the Far South, After long heat and drouth, As day draws nigh to evenArching from North to South, Blinding the tropic sun, The great black bow comes on Till the thunder-veil is riven, When all is crash and levin, And the cannonade of heaven Rolls down the Amazon!) But, as we worked along higher, Just where the river enlarges, Down came a pyramid of fire It was one of your long coal barges. (\Ve had often had the like before) - 'Twas coming down on us to larboard, Well in with the eastern shore And our pilot, to let it pass round, (You may guess we never stopped to sound,) Giving us a rank sheer to starboard, Ran the Flag hard and fast aground I
Page 30 30 'Twas nigh abreast of the Upper Fort, And straightway a rascal Ram (She was shaped like the devil's dam) Puffed away for us, with a snort, And shoved it, with spiteful strength, Right alongside of us, to port It was all of our ship's length, A huge crackling Cradle of the Pit, Pitch-pine knots to the brim, Belching flame red and grimWhat a roar came up from it! Well, for a little it looked bad - But these things are, somehow, shorter In the acting than the telling There was no singing-out nor yelling, Nor any fussing and fretting, No stampede, in short But there we were, my lad, All a-fire on our port quarter! Hammocks a-blaze in the netting, Flame spouting in at every port Our Fourth Cutter burning at the davit, (No chance to lower away and save it.) In a twinkling, the flames had risen Half way to main top and mizzen, Darting up the shrouds like snakes! Ah, how we clanked at the brakes, And the deep steam-pumps throbbed under,
Page 31 3I Sending a ceaseless flow - Our top-men, a dauntless crowd, Swarmed in rigging and shroud There, ('twas a wonder!) The burning ratlins and strands They quenched with their bare hard hands - But the great guns below Never silenced their thunder! At last, by backing and sounding, When we were clear of grounding, And under head-way once more, The whole rebel fleet came rounding The point if we had it hot before, 'Twas now, from shore to shore, One long, loud thundering roarSuch crashing, splintering, and pounding, And smashing as you never heard before I But that we fought foul wrong to wreck, And to save the Land we loved so well, You might have deemed our long gun deck Two hundred feet of hell! For all above was battle, Broadside, and blaze, and rattle, Smoke and thunder alone - (But, down in the sick-bay, Where our wounded and dying lay, There was scarce a sob or a moan.)
Page 32 32 And at last, when the dim day broke, And the sullen sun awoke, Drearily blinking O'er the haze and the cannon-smoke, That ever such morning dulls - There were thirteen traitor hulls On fire and sinking! Now, up the river! - though mad Chalmette Sputters a vain resistance yet. Small helm we gave her, our course to steer - 'Twas nicer work than you well would dream, With cant and sheer to keep her clear Of the burning wrecks that cumbered the stream. The Louisiana, hurled on high, Mounts in thunder to meet the sky! Then down to the depth of the turbid flood, Fifty fathom of rebel mud! The Mississippi comes floating down, A mighty bonfire, from off the town - And along the river, on stocks and ways, A half-hatched devil's brood is a-blaze - The great Anglo-Norman is all in flames, (Hark to the roar of her tumbling frames!) And the smaller fry that Treason would spawn, Are lighting Algiers like an angry dawn! From stem to stern, how the pirates burn, Fired by the furious hands that built! So to ashes forever turn The suicide wrecks of wrong and guilt! I
Page 33 33 But, as we neared the city, By field and vast plantation, (Ah, mill-stone of our Nation!) With wonder and with pity What crowds we there espied Of dark and wistful faces, Mute in their toiling-places, Strangely and sadly eyed Haply,'mid doubt and fear, Deeming deliverance near (One gave the ghost of a cheer!) And on that dolorous strand, To greet the victor-brave One flag did welcome wave - Raised, ah me! by a wretched hand, All outworn on our cruel Land The withered hand of a slave! But all along the Levee, In a dark and drenching rain, (By this,'twas pouring heavy,) Stood a fierce and sullen trainA strange and a frenzied time! There were scowling rage and pain Curses, howls, and hisses, Out of hate's black abyssesTheir courage and their crime All in vain- all in vain! 2* c
Page 34 34 For from the hour that the Rebel Stream, With the Crescent City lying abeam, Shuddered under our keel, Smit to the heart with self-struck sting, Slavery died in her scorpion-ring, And Murder fell on his steel. 'Tis well to do and dareBut ever may grateful prayer Follow, as aye it ought, When the good fight is fought, When the true deed is doneAloft in heaven's pure light, (Deep azure crossed on white) Our fair Church-Pennant waves O'er a thousand thankful braves, Bareheaded in God's bright sun. Lord of mercy and frown, Ruling o'er sea and shore, Send us such scene once more! All in Line of Battle When the black ships bear down On tyrant fort and town, Mid cannon cloud and rattleAnd the great guns once more Thunder back the roar Of the traitor walls ashore, And the traitor flags come down l Flag Ship Hartford, March, x864.
Page 35 35 ANNUS MEMORABILIS. (CONGRESS, z86o-6i.) TAND strong and calm as Fate! not a breath of scorn or hate Of taunt for the base, or of menace for the strong - Since our fortunes must be sealed on that old and famous Field, Where the Right is set in battle with the WVrong. 'Tis coming, with the loom of Khamsin or Simoom, The tempest that shall try if we are of God or no - Its roar is in the sky, - and they there be which cry, Let us cower, and the storm may over-blow. Now, nay! stand firm and fast 1 (that was a spite ful blast!) This is not a war of men, but of Angels Good and Ill'Tis hell that storms at heaven -'tis the black and deadly Seven, Sworn'gainst the Shining Ones to work their damned will!
Page 36 36 How the Ether glooms and burns, as the tide of combat turns, And the smoke and dust above it whirl and float! It eddies and it streams and, certes, oft it seems As the Sins had the Seraphs fairly by the throat. But we all have read, (in that Legend grand and dread,) How Michael and his host met the Serpent and his crewNaught has reached us of the Fight- but, if I have dreamed aright,. 'Twas a loud one and a long, as ever thundered through! Right stiffly, past a doubt, the Dragon fought it out, And his Angels, each and all, did for Tophet their devoirThere was creak of iron wings, and whirl of scor pion stings, Hiss of bifid tongues, and the Pit in full uproar! But, naught thereof enscrolled, in one brief line 'tis told, (Calm as dew the Apocalyptic Pen,) That on the Infinite Shore their place was found no more. God send the like on this our earth! Amen. January 6th, x86r.
Page 37 37 THE BATTLE SUMMERS. A GAIN the glory of the days! Once more the dreamy sunshine fills Noon after noon, and all the hills Lie soft and dim in autumn haze. And lovely lie these meadows low In the slant sun - and quiet broods Above the splendor of the woods All touched with autumn's tenderest glow. The trees stand marshalled, clan by clan, A bannered army, far and near (Mark how yon fiery maples rear Their crimson colors in the van!) Methinks, these ancient haunts among, A fuller life informs the fall The crows in council sit and call, The quail through stubble leads her young.
Page 38 38 The woodcock whirrs by bush and brake, The partridge plies his cedar-search (Old Andy says the trout and perch Are larger now, in stream and lake.) O'er the brown leaves, the forest floor, With nut and acorn scantly strewed, The small red people of the wood Are out to seek their winter store. To-day they gather, each and all, To take their last of autumn suns E'en the gray squirrel lithely runs Along the mossy pasture wall. By marsh and brook, by'copse and hill, To their old quiet haunts repair The feeble things of earth and air, And feed and flutter at their will. The feet that roved this woodland round, The hands that scared the timid race, Now mingle in a mightier chase, Or mould on that great Hunting-Ground. Strange calm and peace!-ah,who could deem, By this still glen, this lone hill-side, How three long summers, in their pride, Have smiled above that awful Dream? -
Page 39 39 Have ever woven a braver green, And ever arched a lovelier blue; Yet Nature, in her every hue, Took color from the dread Unseen. The haze of Indian Summer seemed Borne from far fields of sulphury breath A subtile atmosphere of death Was ever round us as we dreamed. The horizon's dim heat-lightning played Like small-arms, still, thro' nights of drouth, And the low thunder of the south Was dull and distant cannonade. To us the glory or the gray Had still a stranger, stormier dye, Remembering how we watched the sky Of many a waning battle day, O'er many a field of loss or fame: How Shiloh's eve to ashes turned, And how Manassas' sunset burned Incarnadine of blood and flame. And how, in thunder, day by day, The hot sky hanging-over all, Beneath that sullen, lurid pall, The Week of Battles rolled away I
Page 40 4o ".Give me my legions! " - so, in grief, Like him of Rome, our Father cried: (A Nation's Flower lay down and died In yon fell shade!) - ah, hapless chief Too late we learned thy star! - o'erta'en, (Of error or of fate o'erharsh,) Like Varus, in the fatal marsh Where skill and valor all were vain! All vain - Fair Oaks and Seven Pines! A deeper hue than dying Fall May lend, is yours!- yet over all The mild Virginian autumn shines. And still a Nation's Heart o'erhung The iron echoes pealed afar, Along a thousand leagues of war The battle thunders tossed and flung. Till, when our fortunes paled the most, And Hope had half forgot to wave Her banner o'er the wearied brave - A morning saw the traitor host Rolled back o'er red Potomac's wave. And the Great River burst his way! And all on that dear Summer's Day, Day that our fathers died and gave.
Page 41 4I Rest in thy calm, Eternal Right! For thee, though levin-scarred and torn, Through flame and death shall still be borne The Red, the Azure, and the White. We pass - we sink like summer's snow - Yet on the mighty Cause shall move, Though every field a Canne prove, And every pass a Roncesvaux. Though every summer burn anew A battle-summer, - though each day We name a new Aceldema, Or some dry Golgotha re-dew. And thou, in lonely dream withdrawn I What dost thou, while in tempest dies The long drear Night, and all the skies Are red with Freedom's fiery Dawn! Behold, thy summer days are o'er Yet dearer, lovelier these that fall Wrapped in red autumn's flag, than all The green and glory gone before. 'Twas well to sing by stream and sod, And they there were that loved thy lays - But lo, where,'neath yon battle-haze, Thy brothers bare the breast for God I
Page 42 Reck not of waning force nor breath - Some little aid may yet be thine, Some honor to the All-Divine, - To-day, where, by yon River of Death,4 His stars on Rosecrans look down Or, on the morrow, by moat and wall, Once more when the Great Admiral Thunders on traitor fleet and town. O wearied heart! O darkening eye! (How long to hope and trust untrue!) What in the hurly can ye do? Little,'tis like - yet we can die. October, x863. 42
Page 43 43 SUSPIRIA ENSIS. OURN no more for our dead, Laid in their rest sereneWith the tears a Land hath shed Their graves shall ever be green. Ever their fair, true glory Fondly shall fame rehearse - Light of legend and story, Flower of marble and verse! (Wilt thou forget, O Mother! How thy darlings, day by day, For thee, and with fearless faces, Journeyed the darksome way — Went down to death in the war-ship, And on the bare hill-side lay?) For the Giver they gave their breath, And'tis now no time to mourn Lo, of their dear, brave death A mighty Nation is born!
Page 44 44 But a long lament for others, Dying for Darker Powers! - Those that once were our brothers, Whose children shall yet be ours. That a People, haughty and brave, (Warriors, old and young!) Should lie in a bloody grave, And never a dirge be sung! We may look with woe on the dead, We may smooth their lids,'tis true, For the veins of a common red And the Mother's milk we drew. But alas, how vainly bleeds The breast that is bared for Crime - Who shall dare hymn tlhe deeds That else had been all sublime? Were it alien steel that clashed, They had guarded each inch of sodBut the angry valor dashed On the awful shield of God! (Ah- if for some great Good - On some giant Evil hurled - The Thirty Millions had stood 'Gainst the might of a banded world!)
Page 45 45 But now, to the long, long Night They pass, as they ne'er had been - A stranger and sadder sight Than ever the sun hath seen. For his waning beams illume A vast and a sullen train Going down to the gloom - One wretched and drear refrain The only line on their tomb, "They died -and they died in vain!" Gone - ay me! -to the grave, And never one note of song - The Muse would weep for the brave, But how shall she chant the wrong? For a wayward Wench is she One that rather would wait With Old John Brown at the tree Than Stonewall dying in state. When, for the wrongs that were, Hath she lilted a single stave? Know, proud hearts, that, with her, 'Tis not enough to be brave. By the injured, with loving glance, Aye hath she lingered of old, And eyed the Evil askance, Be it never so haught and bold.
Page 46 46 With Homer, alms-gift in hand, With Dante, exile and free, With Milton, blind in the Strand, With Hugo, lone by the sea! In the attic, with Berange'r, She could carol, how blithe and free I Of the old, worn Frocks of Blue, (All threadbare with victory!) 5 But never of purple and gold, Never of Lily or Bee! And thus, though the Traitor Sword Were the bravest that battle wields - Though the fiery Valor poured Its life on a thousand fields The sheen of its ill renown All tarnished with guilt and blame, No Poet a deed may crown, No Lay may laurel a name. Yet never for thee, fair Song! The fallen brave to condemn; They died for a mighty Wrong - But their Demon died with them. (Died, by field and by city!) Be thine on the day to dwell, When dews of peace and of pity Shall fall o'er the fading hell -
Page 47 47 And the dead shall smile in Heaven And tears, that now may not rise, Of love and of all forgiveness, Shall stream from a million eyes. Flag Ship Hartford, at Sea, January, x86+ DOWNI (APRIL, x865.) ARD-ARM to yard-arm we lie Alongside the Ship of Hell - And still through the sulphury sky The terrible clang goes high, Broadside and battle cry, And the pirates' maddened yell! Our Captain's cold on the deck, Our brave Lieutenant's a wreck He lies in the hold there, hearing The storm of fight going on overhead, Tramp and thunder to wake the dead I The great guns jumping overhead, And the whole ship's company cheering I
Page 48 48 Four hours the Death-Fight has roared, (Gun-deck and berth-deck blood-wet!) Her mainmast's gone by the board, Down come topsail and jib! We're smashing her, rib by rib, And the pirate yells grow weak But the Black Flag flies there yet, The Death's Head grinning a-peak! Long has she haunted the seas, Terror of sun and breeze! Her deck has echoed with groans, Her hold is a horrid den Piled to the orlop with bones Of starved and of murdered menThey swanrm'mid her shrouds in hosts, The smoke is murky with ghosts! But to-day, her cruise shall be short - She's bound to the Port she cleared from, She's nearing the Light she steered from Ah, the Horror sees her fate! Heeling heavy to port, She strikes, but all too late! Down, with her cursed crew, Down, with her damned freight, To the bottom of the Blue, Ten thousand fathom deep! With God's glad sun o'erheadThat is the way to weep, So will we mourn our dead I
Page 49 49 WORDS THAT CAN BE SUNG TO THE "HALLELUJAH CHORUS." LD John Brown lies a-mouldering in the grave, Old John Brown lies slumbering in his graveBut John Brown's soul is marching with the brave, His soul is marching on. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! His soul is marching on. He has gone to be a soldier in the Army of the Lord, He is sworn as a private in the ranks of the Lord He shall stand at Armageddon with his brave old sword, When Heaven is marching on. Glory, etc. For Heaven is marching on. 3 D !
Page 50 50 He shall file in front where the lines of battle form, He shall face to front when the squares of battle form - Time with the column, and charge in the storm, Where men are marching on. Glory, etc. True men are marching on. Ah, foul tyrants! do ye hear him where he comes? Ah, black traitors! do ye know him as he comes? In thunder of the cannon and roll of the drums, As we go marching on. Glory, etc. We all are marching on. Men may die, and moulder in the dust Men may die, and arise again from dust, Shoulder to shoulder, in the ranks of the Just, When Heaven is marching on. Glory, etc. The Lord is marching on. April x7th, x862.
Page 51 5$ THE EAGLE OF CORINTH.6 ID you hear of the Fight at Corinth, How we whipped out Price and Van Dorn? Ah, that day we earned our rations - (Our cause was God's and the Nation's, Or we'd have come out forlorn!) A long and a terrible day! And, at last, when night grew gray, By the hundred, there they lay, (Heavy sleepers, you'd say,) That wouldn't wake on the morn. Our staff was bare of a flag, WVe didn't carry a rag In those brave marching days - Ah, no- but a finer thing! With never a cord or string, An Eagle, of ruffled wing, And an eye of awful gaze! The grape it rattled like hail, The minies were dropping like rain,
Page 52 52 The first of a thunder-shower - The wads were blowing like chaff, (There was pounding, like floor and flail, All the front of our line!) So we stood it, hour after hour But our eagle, he felt fine! 'Twould have made you cheer and laugh, To see, through that iron gale, How the Old Fellow'd swoop and sail Above the racket and roar To right and to left he'd soar, But ever came back, without fail, And perched on his standard-staff. All that day, I tell you true, They had pressed us, steady and fair, Till we fought in street and square(The affair, you might think, looked blue,) But we knew we had them there! Our works and batteries were few, Every gun, they'd have sworn, they knewBut, you see, there was one or two We had fixed for them, unaware. They reckon they've got us now! For the next half hour'twill be warm - Aye, aye, look yonder! - I vow, If they weren't Secesh, how I'd love them! Only see how grandly they form, (Our eagle whirling above them,) To take Robinett by storm!
Page 53 53 They're timing! - it can't be long Now for the nub of the fight! (You may guess that we held our breath,) By the Lord,'tis a splendid sight! A column two thousand strong Marching square to the death! On they came, in solid column, For once, no whooping nor yell (Ah, I dare say they felt solemn.) Front and flank - grape and shell Our batteries pounded away! And the minies hummed to remind'em They had started on no child's play I Steady they kept a-going, But a grim wake settled behind'em From the edge of the abattis, (Where our dead and dying lay Under fence and fallen tree,) Up to Robinett, all the way The dreadful swath kept growing! 'Twas butternut, flecked with gray. Now for it, at Robinett! Muzzle to muzzle, we met (Not a breath of bluster or brag, Not a lisp for quarter or favor)Three times, there, by Robinett, With a rush, their feet they set On the logs of our parapet,
Page 54 54 And waved their bit of a flag - What could be finer or braver! But our cross-fire stunned them in flank, They melted, rank after rank - (O'er them, with terrible poise, Our Bird did circle and wheel!) Their whole line began to waver Now for the bayonet, boys! On them with the cold steel! Ah, well -you know how it ended - We did for them, there and then, But their pluck, throughout, was splendid. (As I said before, I could love them!) They stood, to the last, like menOnly a handful of them Found the way back again. Red as blood, o'er the town, The angry sun went down, Firing flagstaff and vane - And our eagle, - as for him, There, all ruffled and grim, He sat, o'erlooking the slain! Next morning, you'd have wondered How we had to drive the spade! There, in great trenches and holes, (Ah, God rest their poor souls!) We piled some fifteen hundred, Where that last charge was made I
Page 55 55 Sad'enough, I must say. No mother to mourn and search, No priest to bless or to prayWe buried them where they lay, Without a rite of the churchBut our eagle, all that day, Stood solemn and still on his perch. 'Tis many a stormy day Since, out of the cold, bleak North, Our great War-Eagle sailed forth To swoop o'er battle and fray. Many and many a day O'er charge and storm hath he wheeled, Foray and foughten field, Tramp, and volley, and rattle! Over crimson trench and turf, Over climbing clouds of surf, Through tempest and cannon-rack, Have his terrible pinions whirled (A thousand fields of battle! A million leagues of foam!) But our Bird shall yet come back, He shall soar to his Eyrie-Home And his thundrous wings be furled, In the gaze of a gladdened world, On the Nation's loftiest Dome. December, xI862.
Page 56 56 THE COLOR-BEARER.7 (VICKSBURG, MAY 22, 1863.) ET them go! they are brave, I know But a berth like this, why it suits me best; I can't carry back the Old Colors to-day, We've come together a long, rough way Here's as good a spot as any to rest. No look, I reckon, to hold them long; So here, in the turf, with my bayonet, To dig for a bit, and plant them strong - (Look out for the point - we may want it yet!) Dry work! -but the old canteen holds fast A few drops of water - not over-freshSo, for a drink! - it may be the last My respects to you, Mr. Secesh! No great show for the snakes to sight; Our boys keep'em busy yet, by the powers! - Hark, what a row going on, to the Right! Better luck there, I hope, than ours.
Page 57 57 Half an hour! - (and you'd swear'twas three) - Here, by the bully old staff, I've sat - Long enough, as it seems to me, To lose as many lives as a cat. Now and then, they sputter away; A puff and a crack, and I hear the ball. Mighty poor shooting, I should say Not bad fellows, may be, after all. My chance, of course, isn't worth a dime But I thought'twould be over, sudden and quick Well, since it seems that we're not on time, Here's for a touch of the Kilikinick. Cool as a clock! -and, what is strange, Out of this dream of death and alarm, (This wild, hard week of battle and change,) Out of the rifle's deadly range My thoughts are all at the dear old farm. 'Tis green as a sward, by this, I know - The orchard is just beginning to set, They mowed the home-lot a week ago - The corn must be late, for that piece is wet. I can think of one or two, that would wipe A drop or so from a soft blue eye, To see me sit and puff at my pipe, With a hundred death's heads grinning hard by. 3*
Page 58 58 And I wonder, when this has all passed o'er, And the tattered old stars in triumph wave on Through street and square, with welcoming roar, If ever they'll think of us who are gone? How we marched together, sound or sick, Sank in the trench o'er the heavy spade - How we charged on the guns, at double-quick, Kept rank for Death to choose and to pick And lay on the bed no fair hands made. Ah, well! at last, when the Nation's free, And flags are flapping from bluff to bay, In old St. Lou what a time there'll be! I mayn't be there, the Hurrah to see - But if the Old Rag goes back to-day, They never shall say'twas carried by me!
Page 59 59 A WAR STUDY. ETHINKS, all idly and too well We love this Nature- little care (Whate'er her children brave and bear,) Were hers, though any grief befell. With gayer sunshine still she seeks To gild our trouble, so'twould seem; Through all this long, tremendous Dream, A tear hath never wet her cheeks. And such a scene I call to mind The third day's thunder, (fort and fleet, And the great guns beneath our feet,) Was dying, and a warm gulf wind Made monotone'mid stays and shrouds: O'er books and men in quiet chat With the Great Admiral I sat, Watching the lovely cannon-clouds. For still, from mortar and from gun, Or short-fused shell that burst aloft, Outsprung a rose-wreath, bright and soft, Tinged with the redly setting sun.
Page 60 6o And I their beauty praised: but he, The grand old Senior, strong and mild, (Of head a sage, in heart a child,) Sighed for the wreck that still must be. Flag Ship Hartford, March, I864. BURY THEM. (WAGNER, JULY I8, i863.) URY the Dragon's Teeth! Bury them deep and dark! The incisors swart and stark, The molars heavy and darkAnd the one white Fang underneath! Bury the Hope Forlorn! Never shudder to fling, With its fellows dusky and worn, The strong and beautiful thing, (Pallid ivory and pearl!) Into the horrible PitHurry it in, and hurl All the rest over it!
Page 61 6i Trample them, clod by clod, Stamp them in dust amain! The cuspids, cruent and red, That the Monster, Freedom, shed On the sacred, strong Slave-Sod They never shall rise again! Never?- what hideous growth Is sprouting through clod and clay? What Terror starts to the day? A crop of steel, on our oath! How the burnished stamens glance!Spike, and anther, and blade, How they burst from the bloody shade, And spindle to spear and lance! There are tassels of blood-red maize How the horrible Harvest grows! 'Tis sabres that glint and daze - 'Tis bayonets all ablaze Uprearing in dreadful rows! For one that we buried there, A thousand are come to air I Ever, by door-stone and hearth, They break from the angry earth And out of the crimson sand, Where the cold white Fang was laid, Rises a terrible Shade, The Wraith of a sleepless Brand!
Page 62 62 And our hearts wax strange and chill, With an ominous shudder and thrill, Even here, on the strong Slave-Sod, Lest, haply, we be found, (Ah, dread no brave hath drowned!) Fighting against Great God. WOOD AND COAL. (NOVEMBER, I863.) ARMER SMITH shakes his old white head, Fuel, he says, will be scarce and dear - Half our young men are gone to the wars, Little wood has been cut this year. Skipper Jones strokes his grizzled beard, Freights, he expects, were never so highHalf our hands are shipped on the fleets, Coals must be awful, by and by! Are ye glad, O Cedar and Fir? Will ye sing, with the Seer of yore, Rejoice! no feller, axe in hand, Cometh against us more!
Page 63 63 Hush, with your wavy boast, Your flutter of leafy words! The funeral train of your Lords Goes down from mountain to coast. Their dirge is strident and hoarse Screech of bob-sled and chain, Groan of drag and of wain, Reeling under the giant corse Of Oak from Merrimac's rugged source And Pine from the hills of Maine. And down where the dock-yard sits, With mighty derrick and sheers Keel and carline, transom and bitts, The mammoth Skeleton grows, and knits The spoil of your hundred years. Are ye quiet, Kobold and Gnome? Can ye crouch and whisper at will, By lode and drift, in your sullen home, Untroubled with pick or drill? Hark, how angry and fast, By valley and mountain-gorge, By port and foundry vast, The roar of furnace and blast, The clang of anvil and forge I
Page 64 64 For the Powers of Earth to-day Are sounding an old, old SongThe loud and the dreadful Lay Of death to horror and wrong! A thousand years hath it rang, "Crime shall go under!" Is all but a vast, vain pang? God makes no blunder - How the armories bellow and clang I How the ship-yards thunder! Ah, not for the fireside glow, With its cheery urn and tray, And the children's faces all a-row, Are the woods and the mines, to-day! Scant is the spark ye spare for these, Dark-ledged caverns and moss-gray trees! A grimmer service is yours at lastTo roll the plate and to melt the cast, Bolt the keelson and step the mast, And drive the war-ship through winter seas. So hath it been from the days of old Though the fire go out on the widow's hearth, And the orphans cuddle abed for cold - That is the way of our weary earth, These are the pangs of a Nation's Birth.
Page 65 65 Trust and endure! -for'tis all of FateAnd the end shall come, be it soon or late - Better that one generation die, Than a hundred live in horror and hate - Thiere's room for us all in God's fair sky. NIGHT-QUARTERS. ANG! tang! went the gong's wild roar Through the hundred cells of our great Sea Hive! Five seconds- it couldn't be more And the whole Swarm was humming and alive - (WVe were on an enemy's shore). With savage haste, in the dark, (Our steerage hadn't a spark,) Into boot and hose they blunderedFrom for'ard came a strange, low roar, The dull and smothered racket Of lower rig and jacket Hurried on, by the hundred - How the berth deck buzzed and swore! R
Page 66 66 The third of minutes ten, And half a thousand men, From the dream-gulf, dead and deep, Of the seaman's measured sleep, In the taking of a lunar, In the serving of a ration, Every man at his station!Three and a quarter, or sooner! Never a skulk to be seenFrom the look-out aloft to the gunner Lurking in his black magazine. There they stand, still as death, And, (a trifle out of breath, It may be,) we of the Staff, All on the poop, to a minute, Wonder if there's anything in it - Doubting if to growl or laugh. But, somehow, every hand Feels for hilt and brand, Tries if buckle and frog be tight So, in the chilly breeze, we stand Peering through the dimness of the night The men, by twos and ones, Grim and silent at the guns, Ready, if a Foe heave in sight! But, as we looked aloft, There, all white and soft,
Page 67 67 Floated on the fleecy clouds, (Stray flocks in heaven's blue croft)How they shone, the eternal stars, 'Mid the black masts and spars And the great maze of lifts and shrouds! Flag Ship Hartford, May, i86+4 COMING. (APRIL, I86x.) ORLD, art thou'ware of a storm? Hark to the ominous sound, How the far-off gales their battle form, And the great sea swells feel ground! It comes, the Typhoon of Death - Near and nearer it comes! The horizon thunder of cannon-breath And the roar of angry drums! Hurtle, Terror sublime! Swoop o'er the Land, to-day - So the mist of wrong and crime, The breath of our Evil Time, Be swept, as by fire, away!
Page 68 68 SUMTER. SO, they will have it! The Black Witch, (curse on her,) Always had won her Greediest demand - for we gave it - All but our honor! Thirty hours thundered Siege-guns and mortars (Flames in the quarters!) One to a hundred Stood our brave Forters! No more of parties! Let them all moulder - Here's work that's bolder! Forward, my hearties! Shoulder to shoulder. Sight o'er the trunnion - Send home the rammer - Linstock and hammer! Speak for the Union! Tones that won't stammer! I
Page 69 69 Men of Columbia, Leal hearts from Annan, Brave lads of Shannon! We are all one to-day - On with the cannon! APRIL I9, I775-I86I. ONCE again, (our dear old Massachusetts!) Once again the drops that made their way, Red, ah not in vain! on that old greensward - It is six and eighty years this-very day. Six and eighty years - aye, it seemed but a mem ory Little left of all that glory - so we thought - Only the old firelocks hung on farmhouse chim neys, And rude blades the village blacksmith wrought. Onjly here and there a white head that remembers How the Frocks of Homespun stood against King GeorgeHow the hard hands stretched them o'er the scanty embers When the sleet and snow came down at Valley Forge.
Page 70 7o Once more, dear Brother-State! thy pure, brave blood baptizes Our last and noblest struggle for freedom and for rightIt fell on the cruel stones!- but an awful Nation ' rises In the glory of its conscience, and the splendor of its might. April l9th, I86I. ON FIRE. "TS HE furnace is kindling," Mohammed said, As he stood on E1 Honein's height Through the black defile began to spread Clink and glimmer, angry and red, Of the fiery spears in fight. Our spark is stricken! -how fast The mighty furnace hath lit! Or ever an hour be past, 'Twill roar, the terrible Blast, Roar and seethe like the Pit! Aye, many the day it hath Stood, heaped with fuel o'ermuch il
Page 71 71 Horrors piled for the flame's red path, Wrath laid up for the Day of Wrath, And Wrong, with its tinder touch. And, to-day,'tis fairly ablaze - Listen, ye that have laughed! Hark, in stolid amaze, 'Mid the crackle of hate and craze, To the low, dull roar of the draught! It sparkles savage and dire! The forky tongues flicker lithe - How they grapple, faster and higher, The greedy serpents of fire, And the candent scales, how they writhe! The Furnace kindles! what hand shall tame Its rage, till it roar at height? Grant, 0 God, that from out the same, The whirl and fury, the heat and shame Thy fierce Alembic of blood and flame - A Nation's Soul come white. 4
Page 72 LET US ALONE. "All we ask is to be let alone." S vonce I valked by a dismal svamp, There sot an Old Cove in the dark and damp, And at everybody as passed that road A stick or a stone this Old Cove throwed. And venever he flung his stick or his stone, He'd set up a song of "Let me alone." "Let me alone, for I loves to shy These bits of things at the passers byLet me alone, for I've got your tin And lots of other traps snugly inLet me alone, I'm riggin' a boat To grab votever you've got afloatIn a veek or so I expects to come And turn you out of your'ouse and'ome I'm a quiet Old Cove," says he, vith a groan: "All I axes is- Let me alone." Just then came along, on the self-same vay, Another Old Cove, and began for to say "Let you alone! That's comin' it strong!You've ben let alone- a darned sight too long - 12
Page 73 73 Of all the sarce that ever I heerd! Put down that stick! (You may well look skeered.) Let go that stone! If you once show fight, I'll knock you higher than ary kite. You must hev a lesson to stop your tricks, And cure you of shying them stones and sticks And I'll hey my hardware back and my cash, And knock your scow into tarnal smash; And if ever I catches you round my ranch, I'll string you up to the nearest branch. The best you can do is to go to bed, And keep a decent tongue in your head; For I reckon, before you and I are done, You'll wish you had let honest folks alone." The Old Cove stopped, and the t'other Old Cove He sot quite still in his cypress grove, And he looked at his stick, revolvin' slow Vether'twere safe to shy it or no - And he grumbled on, in an injured tone, "All that I axed vos, let me alone."
Page 74 74 THE MARCH OF THE REGIMENT. ERE they come!-'tis the Twelfth, you know The Colonel is just at handThe ranks close up, to the measured flow Of music cheery and grand. Glitter on glitter, row by row, The steady bayonets, on they go For God and the Right to standAnother Thousand to front the Foe! And to die- if it must be even so For the dear old Fatherland! 0, trusty and true! O gay, warm heart! 0, manly and earnest brow! Here, in the hurrying street, we part To meet - ah, where and how? 0, ready and staunch! who, at war's alarm, On lonely hill-side and mountain-farm Have left the axe and the plow! That every tear were a holy charm, To guard, with honor, some head from harm, And to quit some generous vow!
Page 75 75 For, of valiant heart and of sturdy arm Was never more need than now. Never a nobler Morn to the bold For God and for Country's sake! Lo, a Flag, so haughtly unrolled On a hundred foughten fields of old, Now flaunts in a pirate's wake! The Lion coys in each blazoned fold, And leers on the blood-barred Snake! 0, base and vain! that, for grudge and gain, Could a century's feud renew - Could hoard your hate for the coward chance When a Nation reeled in a wilder Dance Of Death, than the Switzer drew! We have borne, and borne- and may bear again With wrong, but if wrong from you, Welcome, the sulphury cloud in the sky! Welcome, the crimson rain! Act but the dream ye dared to form, Strike a single spark! - and the storm Of serried bayonets sweeping by, Shall swell to a hurricane! Dree your weird! - though an hour may blight, In treason, a century's fame - Trust Greed and Spite! - (sith Reason and Right Lie cold, with Honor and Shame)
Page 76 76 And learn anon -. as on that dread night When, the dead around and the deck aflame, From John Paul's lip the fierce word came "We have only begun to fight!" 0, blind and bitter! that could not know, Even in fight, a caitiff blow, (Foully dealt on a hard-set foe,) Ever is underwise Ever is ghosted with after Fear Ye might lesson it - year by year, Looking, with fevered eyes, For sail or smoke from the Breton shore, Lest a Land, so rudely wronged of yore, In flamy revenge should rise! Office at outcry!- ah, wretched Flam! Vile Farce of hammer and prate! Trade! bids Derby - and blood! smirks PamLittle ween they, each courtly Sham, Of the Terror lying in wait! Little wot of the web he spins, Their Tempter in purple, that darkly grins 'Neath his stony visor of state, O'er Seas, how narrow!- for, whoso wins, At yon base Auction of Outs and Ins, The rule of his Dearest Hate - Her point once flashing athwart her Kin's, And the reckoning, ledgered for long, begins - The galling Glories and envied Sins Shall buzz in a mesh like fate!
Page 77 77 Aye, mate your meanest! - ye can but do That permitted -when Heaven would view How wrong, self-branded, her rage must rue In wreck and ashes! - (such scene as you, If wise, shall witness afar) How Guilt, o'erblown, her crest heaves high, And dares the injured, with taunt, to try Ordeal of Fire in war - Blindfold and brazen, on God doth call Then grasps, in horror, the glaring ball, Or treads on the candent bar! Yet a little! - and men shall mark This our Moloch, who sate so stark, (These hundred winters through godless dark Grinning o'er death and shame) Marking for murder each unbowed head, Throned on his Ghizeh of bones, and fed Still with hearts of the holy dead Naught but a Spectre foul and dread, Naught but a hideous Name! At last! - (ungloom, stern coffined frown! Rest thee, Gray-Steel! -aye, dead Renown! In flame and thunder by field and town The Giant-Horror is going down, Down to the Home whence it came!) Deaf to the Doom that waits the Beast, Still would ye share the Harlot's Feast, And drink of her blood-grimed Cup!
Page 78 78 Pause!- the Accursed, on yon frenzied shore, Buyeth your merchandise never more! Mark,'mid the Fiery Dew that drips, Redder, faster, through black Eclipse, How Sodom, to-night, shall sup! (Thus the Kings, in Apocalypse, The traders of souls and crews of ships, Standing afar, with pallid lips, While Babylon's Smoke goes up!) Aye,'tis at hand! -foul lips, be dumb! Our Armageddon is yet to come! But cheery bugle, and angry drum, With volleyed rattle and roar, And cannon thunder-throb, shall be drowned, That day, in a grander, stormier sound The Land, from mountain to shore, Hurling shackle and scourge and stake Back to their Lender of pit and lake ('Twas Tophet leased them of yore)Hell, in her murkiest hold, shall quake, As they ring on the damned floor! O mighty Heart! thou wast long to wake'Tis thine, to-morrow, to win or break In a deadlier close once moreIf but for the dear and glorious sake Of those who have gone before. O Fair and Faithful! that, sun by sun, Slept on the field, or lost or won -
Page 79 79 Children dear of the Holy One! Rest in your wintry sod. Rest, your noble Devoir is doneDone- and forever! -ours, to-day, The dreary drift and the frozen clay By trampling armies trod The smoky shroud of the War-Simoom, The maddened Crime at bay with her Doom, And fighting it, clod by clod. O Calm and Glory!- beyond the gloom, Above the bayonets bend and bloom The lilies and palms of God. February, x862. LINES BY OUR CORPORAL. A, boys! what's that we hear Out of the South so clear? Cannon and thunder-cheer, True hearts and loyal! - Aye,'tis Dupont at work, Shelling the snakes that lurk Down by Port Royal I
Page 80 8o What's this from old Kentuck? There, down upon his luck, Puts many a flying scamp What could you offer To stop him as he scuds? Not all the baby duds 8 Hived in your thieving camp, Black Zollicoffer! Straight through Tennessee The flag is flapping free - Aye, nothing shorter! But first, with shot and shell, The road was cleared right well - Ye made each muzzle tell, Brave Foote and Porter! Shear the old Stripes and Stars Short, for the Bloody Bars? No - not an atom! How,'neath yon cannon-smoke, Volley and charge and stroke, Roar around Roanoke! Burnside is at'en m! 0, brave lads of the West, Joy to each valiant breast! Three days of steady fight - Three shades of stormy night Donelson tumbles. Surrender, out of hand!
Page 81 8i "Unchivalrous demand!" (So Buckner grumbles.) March in, stout Grant and Smith, (Ah, souls of pluck and pith!) Haul down, for the Old Flag, That black and bloody ragTwelve thousand in a bag! True hearts are overjoyedBut half as many scamper, (Ah, there's the only damper!) Through the very worst of weathers, After old Fuss-and-Feathers And foul Barabbas-Floyd. WVas't funk that made them flee? Nay - they're as bold as we 'Twas their bad cause, d'ye see, Whereof they well were knowing, (For all their brag and blowing, Their cursing and their crowing,) That is what cowed'em! I Keep the Old Flag a-going Crowd'em, boys, crowd'em! No more palaver! Speeches ain't glory - Sink whig and tory! Rifle clean, bayonet keen, Saddle tight, sabre bright,. These tell the story!. 4* p
Page 82 82 HEARTS OF OAK. -AN EPITAPH. (MARCH 8, 1862.) TO quarters - stand by, my hearties I Every shot to-day must tellHere they come at last, the lubbers Boxed up in their iron shell. Aye, she's heading dead athwart us, Where the fog begins to lift - Now a broadside, and all together, At the bloody rope-walk adrift! How the hog-back's snout comes on us! Give it again to'em, boys! Ah, there's a crash at our counter Can be heard through all the noise! 'Tis like pitching of peas and pebbles No matter for that, my men, Stand by, to send'em another - Ah, I think we hulled her then!
Page 83 83 Carpenter, how is the water? Gaining, sir, faster and higher; 'Tis all awash in the ward-room Never mind- we can load and fire! Let them charge with their Iron Devil, They never shall see our backs What, all afloat on our gun-deck? Aye, your sponges and rammers to the racks I Sinking, my hearts, at an anchor - But never say die till it's o'er! Are you ready there on the spar-deck? We'll give them one round more, Ready all, on the spar-deck! Aye, my lads, we're going downShe's heeling- but one more broadside For the Navy and its old renown! Hurrah! there go the splinters! Ha, they shall know us where we drown! Now one cheer more, my hearties, For the Flag and its brave renown! They shall hear it, the fine old captains, With Hull and Perry looking down.: They're watching us, where we founder, With a tear on each tough old cheek - Down she goes, our noble frigate, But the Old Flag's still at her peak!
Page 84 84 It waves o'er the blood-red water Lawrence sees it where it flies! And they look down, our grand old captains, With a tear and a smile from the skies. ON THE KILLING OF CERTAIN DOGS.9 A YE, we'll block that game- or try to I There's more of'em down this wayUncle, are yonder the kennels? Yes, mas'r - sorry to say. Sure enough -hark, what a baying! A heap of'em, I'll be bound. Here's one coming to meet us Boys, what a handsome hound! My eyes- such wagging and leaping! So jolly, you'd never think He could tree and watch a white human, Or tear his throat, at a wink! Poor fellow - so pleased to be petted! Little knowing where it ends - Seeing us with the old darkey, He fancies we are his friends.
Page 85 85 No fault of thine, my doggie, (Poor honest beast of God!) That devils taught thee to snuff the trail Where bleeding feet have trod. But creatures, dumb or human, Good, it may be, at their birth, Once trained in the school of Satan, Can be trusted no more on earth. We know that'tis no use trying To teach an old dog new tricksBy Jove, I'd be glad to save him! But can't, anyway you can fix. Here's for it, then! though it goes, I tell you, against the grain - But it's right, and it must be done - He shan't feel a minute's pain. 'Tis but a click and a bound! And there he lies -poor old pup! Boys! I'd rather be that dead hound Than the devil that brought him up.
Page 86 86 MR. CARLYLE'S CHIMNEY,10 AND WHAT WOULD COME OF MEDDLING WITH IT. ORAH, neighbors! vot do yer say 'Ere's a chimney afire across the vay! It'asn't been burnt this many a day - And there can't be no manner of doubt But the flues is choked vith soot and vith dirtLet's hall turn to, in veskit and shirt, Vith'and-pump and hengine, basin and squirt, (Hanything as will swash or spirt) And see if we can't put it hout! 'Tis a heasy business, I'll be bail - So form your line, vith bucket and pail, We know vot we're about! The folks of the'ouse,'ow they scold and curse, "Keep hoff! - you'll honly make matters vorse! It'as got to burn itself hout!" Never you mind!- let's come at the flue! We're'ere, and we're bound to put them through Bear an'and vith the spout! Varm vork, gen'lemen! - faith, I see 'Tis more of a job than we took it to be -
Page 87 87 ('Urry up, vith yer'ose!!) For the more we pumps, and the'arder we pours, The faster it burns, and the louder it roars, And the'otter and'otter it grows! 'Ow the swash drips back, like scalding tears, And the burning soot comes about our hears, And the flame'owls'igher and'igher! Look hout! the mantle is catching! (whew! For vun, I begins to tire) 'Ullo! by George, this never will do! k'ntre' bleu, tmo'sieur! and me tink so too Ve sall'ave ze'ole str-r-r-eet avire! And now, vot next? we can do no more Their hentries and stairnays is stamped vith mud, Their rugs and carpets soaked in a floodBut the'orrible Flue keeps on to roar - Vot a dreadful puddle lies on the floor! By this blaze, you'd svear t'was blood!
Page 88 88 THE FALL OF AL-ACCOUB.') * And now, behold, the axe is laid unto the root of the tree." NOW ye the fall is nigh Of the dreadful Tree Al-Accoub? He had thrust his top so high, The Upas-breath floated by Those who, in God's sweet sky, Sit with Isa and Yacoub. Tree in whose ghastly shadow Never a green thing grew, Never a bright bud blew! It hangs o'er a mighty meadow, Whose dreary Vast never knew One tear of heaven's sweet dew, The blear and the blasted meadow But dripping of venom-dew, Manzaneel's blister-dew. Ha! how the Horror stands Clutching, with monstrous hands, Hold on earth and on hell! With the snaky shroud and stay
Page 89 89 Of polypus-rigged Jagudy, (Throats that flatten and swell!) Massy buttress and knee Shore up the terrible Tree, Spur, and elbow, and crook, In savage rugax and whelks, (Like horns of the giant elks,) Its roots lay hold on hell They burrow, and gnarl, and hook At the wormiest heart of hell. (Thus, in a strange, weird land A far-off Isle of the South, Deep in the Gulfy Wave There's a ledge by a jagged mouth, The upper jaw of a cave; On the very brink of it A mighty Ceiba doth stand, Spreading him broad and brave; Huge, and writhing, and knit, His roots show horribly grandCoil and cable and strand Stretching down to the Pit.) Round him doth climb and fold Full many a villainous thing. Freckled, and scaled, and rolled In grisly spiral and ring, They wind like boas, or cling With cruel centipede-hold;
Page 90 9o 'Mid the Inner-Dark, untold, Ghastlier forms lie screened Of Hates, and Terrors, and Pangs, (Anguish never was weened!) Ah, the thorns are claws and fangs, Every fruit thereon that hangs, The ashen mask of a fiend! Vast is the Shadow across, Rarcly the gaze may win, (Save when the swamp-winds toss The black witch-mantle of moss,) A glimpse of the gloom withinOf the infinite Swarm of Shapes Myriads of wretched Shapes, That ever thereunder flit, Wraiths of Evil and Dread(Souls worn back to the ape's Suicides - Ghouls that sit, All agrime, at their dead!) Ever therefrom doth flow The scent and the sound of woe, Out of its shroud of old Steaming sullen and slow - Blight of fungus and mould, Taint of blood and of ordureSobs that strangle and strive, Groan as of gag and gyve, Hum of a maddened Hive
Page 91 9I Swarming for sting and torture The whole foul Mass is alive With twining horror and torture! Ha, how they coil and clasp! They plicate, constrict, and gasp, In plexure horribly writhen! Knotting closer and madder - Every bough is a python, Every twig is an adder, Every spray is an asp! Ah, the puff and dilation! The hiss, and the forked vibration Darting fiercer and further! The bloody cockatrice-wattle, The horny pods that rattleHorrid crotalus-rattle! Shrilling venomn and murther. Hollow its heart of old, Yet grimly it keeps its holdSo stark it stands and so bold, Devil-dom deems'tis sound - Swears by it still,- though now And then some rottener bough Comes with a crash to ground. For to-day'tis stormy weather - Night and tempest together Swooping from East and North -
Page 92 92 Thunder by sea and land! The great Line-Gales are at hand What may the morn bring forth? Steady it comes and strong. How, as the bulk is stirred, The creak and the clang are heard Of bat and of unclean bird, That lodged in its limbs so long Screech, and flutter, and wail'! How, as the black winds rouse The wrath of its savage boughs, It rocks and roars in the gale! Vast and angry commotion! Lift and thunder of ocean, Forest riving and roar Trouble in earth and sky, Wreck by mountain and shore Terror and doom! -is it Thee, Thou black and blasphemous Tree! The Vengeance shall yet pass by? Help for it! Drivel-dom saith (Puffing of impious breath, Piping of idiot-breath,) - Hark to the stormy answer! The Cyclone's terrible breath Booming judgment and deathDo ye know it now?-'tis the Sansar, Dark, icy Wind of Death!
Page 93 93 Aid or grace for it?- nay! (Hear the wild wings in the van Azrael swoops yon way, Bearing the Infinite Ban!) The boughs, how they groan and sway, The leaves, how they strip and fray! Hideous to God and man, Know, its doom is to-dayShore it up, if ye can! Stand from it, while ye may! Prop and guy? -craze and folly! Allah, All-Tender, launches Levin, volley on volley, Full on the cursed branches Blighting the wretched fruit, Blasting the seed forever Earth, with axe and with lever, Storms in siege at the root. Grand and terrible clamor! Clang of helve and of hammer! Ah, the thunder of sledges, The groaning of winches, Cracking of wedges! It totters, the Wicked Tree, Like some tall pirate at sea Foundering by inches, (Gone rail and rudder!) Ha! dost thou shudder
Page 94 94 In thine arcanum? Tremble, Jehanum! Was't all a dream of the Past, Diluvium's Tidal Wave Lifting dreadful and vast? Gomorrah's sulphury shroud? Egypt's billowy grave? Doom of Korah and Dathan? Sire of Treason misproud! What, once more, at the last, All amort and aghast? Have at thee, Sathan! 'Tis but a cycle whirled, Since, out of the Under-World, Swarmed the fiend-whispers, boasting, Go to, while yon is standing, Still shall we snuff our branding, Our flaying, and our roasting! (So crooned the Infernal Seven) And he waxed so haughlit and high, The wretched were fain to cry, With Spartacus, left to die, There is not a God in the heaven! (Thus, too, still mooted the Seven, Ever they hug that blunder) Lo! the glare of the Levin! Hark to the roll of the Thunder!
Page 95 95 A groan from the depths! - ('tis Tophet's The Jezebel-Fury Faints!) Ah, thou that stonest the prophets, And drinkest the blood of saints! To-night art thou sore afraid For thine earth-grown Eidolon? - (Lo, How the Winds of Judgment blow!) Aye, the mass begins to go, At the very scar tile blade Of the stern old Woodman made, Scant a score of moons ago. Roar wilder, blast! Blows, thunder fast! Each cruel fibre relaxes The cable-roots crack, The Trunk's huge wrack Rings to a million axes. Measure your strokes right well(Warely,'tis nigh in sunder 1) A single blow shall tell - He topples! -aye, stand from under I Crashing, thunder on thunder, The Hulk goes down to its hell I Ah, the horror and wonder, The sickness at heart of hell I But over its sunken ashes, In opal and emerald flashes,
Page 96 96 (Babes of death and of dust,) Amaranth, Immortelle, Lift their sweet lids in trust, Smile to the Infinite TrustMoly and Asphodel Bloom o'er the buried hell, And joy the Arisen Just. March, i862. ONE WORD. PEAK to us, to-day, O Father! Our hearts are strangely stirredA Nation's Life is hanging On a yet unspoken word. Long, by the hearthstone corner, May the aged grandame sit, And toil, with trembling fingers, That another sock be knit; Men may march and manceuvre, And camp on fields of deathThe Iron Saurians wheel and dart, And thunder their fiery breath;
Page 97 97 But one brave word is wanting The word whose tone should start The pulses of men to flamelets Thrilling through every heart! O Father, trust your children I If ever you found them fail, 'Twas but for lack of the one true word That must to the end prevail. Where funeral willows quiver On the banks of the Mighty River, 'Twas seen what men may do Flame ahead, and flame to larboard! (Aye, the Pit's mouth burned blue!) Not a craven thought was harbored'Twas hell to port and starboard, But the Hearts of Oak went through I They have shown what men may do, They have proved how men may die - Count, who can, the fields they've pressed, Each face to the solemn sky! Is it yet forgotten, of Shiloh And the long outnumbered lines, How the blue frocks lay in winrows? How they died at the Seven Pines? 5 G
Page 98 98 How they sank in the Varuna? (Seven Foes in Flame around!) How they went down with the Cumberland, Firing, cheering as they drowned? Spirits, a hundred of thousands, Eager, and bold, and true, Gone to make good one brave, just word Father, they died for you! Died, in tempest of battle, Died, in the cot's dull painLet their ghosts be glad in heaven, That they died- and not in vain! And never fear but the living Shall stand, to the last, by thee - They shall yet make up the million, And another, if need there be! But fail not, as thy trust is heaven, To breathe the word shall wake The holiest fire of a Nation's heart - Speak it, for Christ's dear sake! Speak it, our earthly Father I In the Name of His, and smile At one breath more of the Viper Whose fangs shall crash on the file!
Page 99 99 The Angel-Songs are forever, The Snake can hiss but his daySpeak, 0 Shepherd of Peoples I And fold earth's blessings for aye. July 27th, I862. ONLY A WORD. A YE, one word I-and forever ends The Judas-counsel of fair false friends, Ends the doubt and the vain debate, Ends the weary tangle of state. Ends forever the troublous ghost Of fleet or file from the Old World coast, (Borne o'er the shuddering seas to swell The waning squadrons of Death and Hell)And a Nation springs once more to the fight, With the deathless war-cry of "God and Right!" 'k I :.. ~I.:..
Page 100 I00 SOMNIA CCELI. (JANUARY I, x863.) OOM of Hate and of Darkness! Dawn of Life and of Light I Surely,'twas God's fair Angel Stood by my couch, last night. Looked on the careworn Creature, Pitied the yearning DustI slept the sleep of the Blessed, Dreamed the dreams of the Just. 0, griefs of our Infant Being, 0, earthly anguish and ills, All at an end, and forever! I stood on the Happy Hills. The hills and the fields of Beulah Fair in the Heavenly Sun! Calm, and peace, and forgiveness - Life and Death were at one. .. ~: a
Page 101 I0I Vale and forest grew dimmer, Cliff gloomed purple and gray - And slowly a night descended More sweet than our sunniest day. But far in the lost horizon, Through the Outer Darkness whirled A vast and a wretched Shadow - Methought,'twas this our world. Ah, the gloom and the horror! For the Powers of Air had met And the spears of Dawn and of Death-Eclipse In deadly battle were set. Smoke, and shudder, and torment! Crash, and rending, and wrack!And if ever the Light seemed gaining, The Dark still trampled it back. Had I passed the Shining Portal, Wvhich the Lovelier Land doth keep? Ah, nay I - for these eyes were mortal, And they could not choose but weep. But, lifting the lids of anguish, I was'ware, by the waning light, Of a grand and a holy Presence, Calm and strong, in my sight. 0
Page 102 IO0 Grace, and gladness, and splendor I Pity,'mid power and pride! - (Yet, methought, more truly tender A dimmer Form at his side, Lovely, pallid, and slender, Sweetly and sadly eyed.) And the glorious Lips bespake me, With a smile, as half in mirth, Questioning -what the trouble Wearies thee, Child of Earth I What thereto could I answer? What but, with sigh and tearAll, alas, is so wretched there I All is so happy here I But again the word was taken Therefore art thou forlorn? How dreamest thou what the angels, In their earthly day, have borne? How weary their earlier way, While yon half-made orb they trod - The blinder reason, the dimmer ray, The ruder working of God. For'tis raised, the tempest of trouble, (Though seeming judgment or curse,) Of the infinite Love and Pity And ever to thwart a worse. 0
Page 103 o103 The whirl, the crash, and the ruin, (Much though it seem to thee,) Is naught but a broken toy of earth To the horror that else should be I Were it better, the Lord's fair Garden Of its fruitage forever fail That a growth of drowsy venom Still fester for slug and snailOr that Crime, the monstrous Mandrake, Be rooted with shriek and wail? That Hell, unchallenged forever, Craze yon Sphere-Soul past doubt Or Earth, possessed of her Demon, Be rent in the casting out? b Hereon'twere idle to linger. True, that offence must come - Woe, ah woe to the bringer! (But the gentler Shade was dumb.) He spake- but shadow and thunder Swept o'er the unhappy sphere - And a low, dull throb thereunder Trembled on heart and ear - A hollow, heavy pulsation, As from filling of trench and grave - And a deeper ululation
Page 104 104 Up through the dark did wave - The moan of a Mother-Nation For her darling and her brave. Ever from earth ascended The thrill and shudder of painWhen shall thy grief be ended, O Earth?- and I wept again. Is it ever of woe and anguish That the better world is born? Ever a night of dreadful dream Must cradle the Holy Morn? Thus I mourned and lamented, With the wearied heart of a child, 'Feared, lest never the day should dawn But again the Presence smiled, And again, as in cheer, he spake Aye, ever yon Cradle-Sphere Is rudely rocked ere the Earth-Soul wake But another rule is here, And a Morn of joy no shadow may break But'tokens a happier Year. Anrd therewith pleaded the Other Is it so unhappy then, To die for God and for Mother, Rendering the soul like men?
Page 105 105 Is it grievous, weapon in hand For Faith and the Holy Name, To pass, in strength, to the wondrous Land, By the Portal of Steel and Flame? Thunder, to-day, at the Outer Gate! Earth's eager squadrons form - The daring spirits that could not wait Are taking Heaven by storm! The splendor of battle in their eyes, They enter, even now - How it lights the Port of Paradise, The death-gleam on each brow! The fire on the wan cheek flickered, The form was in act to fleet - Yet again the Voice made murmur, (It was strangely low and sweet,) Not thine, as yet, even here, to mark How Life and Death may meet. Nor mine, to-night, to whisper The word could set thee free They faded, the mighty Brothers, As Twin-Clouds fade o'er the sea Yet murmured still, in their going, Peace, O mortal, with thee! Sleep, and dream the salvation Thine eyes, the morn, shall see. 5*
Page 106 io6 And therewith peace waved o'er me The mighty morning broke, From fevered slumber and guilty dream The Land, in wonder, wokeIt rocked and rang to the noblest Word Ever a mortal spoke! Though these our changes and choices But falter the Will Divine, Of all the infinite voices That throng to the Central Shrine, None, 0 father, rejoices Heaven, to the heart, like thine I A touch from the Unseen Finger, Lo, they kindle, the lips of clayAh, for a worthier singer! Joy thee, O earth! - to-day, (Though awhile it seem to linger,) The Shadow passes- for aye,! Thy murky Shroud to the Gone shall sweep On the wings of the Thunder-Gale The Share of the Lord is driving deep, But blossom nor fruit shall fail. And now, come wrath and reviling I Let the Crime rave as it can, With the yelp of pettier treason,
Page 107 o107 The caitiff cursing and ban - We know that a God is in Heaven, We know that Earth has a Man! Let them gloat, the ravined Nations, Scenting our blood through the dark, (As his fellows glare'mid the salt-sea, Ere they tear at a wounded shark.) Let it gnash, the rage and the menace, And the gnarring, o'er and o'er, Like a mangled Wolf's, from out yon gloom - Telling, as time afore, Murder doth not go to the doom Without a Death-Shrill the more! Come, battle of stormiest breath, O'er meadow and hill-side brown The long lines sweeping up to death, 'Mid thunder from trench and town - The victor cheer, or the martyr faith For Right and for God's Renown! And come, the shock and the shudder! The dull and heavy heart-pain, The watch, the woe, and the waiting - Once more, like the summer's rain, Pour thy dear blood, beloved Land! - Never a drop is in vain!
Page 108 zo8 And never in vain, our brothers I That dark December's day, For the Truth, and for hope to others, By slope and by trench ye lay - Lay, through the long night's damp, On a lost and fatal field; But a stronger Line, and a vaster Camp To your noble charge did yield. Did we deem'twas woe and pity That there, in your flower, ye died? Ah, fond I - the Celestial City Her Portal fair flung wide. The mighty Avenue surges For, to-day, doth enter in An Army of victor souls and strong, Sublimed, through fire, from sin. And their ranks form deep for escort, The holy and valiant Throng Erst risen, through storm and battle, Guarding the Good'gainst Wrong. The Colors ye bore in vain that day Yet wave o'er Heaven's RecruitsAnd are trooped by Aidenn's starriest Gate, While the Flaming Sword salutes! January,!863. I
Page 109 Iog THE BATTLE OF CHARLESTOWN. (DECEMBER 2, 1859.) RESH palms for the Old Dominion I New peers for the valiant Dead! Never hath showered her sunshine On a field of doughtier dread Heroes in buff three thousand, And a single scarred gray head! Fuss, and feathers, and flurry Clink, and rattle, and roarThe old man looks around him On meadow and mountain hoar; The place, he remarks, is pleasant, I had not seen it before. Form, in your boldest order, Let the people press no nigher! Would ye have them hear to his words - The words that may spread like fire? 'Tis a right smart chance to test him (Here we are at the gallows-tree,) So knot the noose- pretty tightly Bandage his eyes- and we'll see, 0
Page 110 110 (For we'll keep him waiting a little,) If he tremble in nerve or knee. There, in a string, we've got him! (Shall the music bang and blow?) The chivalry wheels and marches, And airs its valor below. Look hard in the blindfold visage, (He can't look back,) and inquire, (He has stood there nearly a quarter,) If he doesn't begin to tire? Not yet! how long will he keep us, To see if he quail or no? I reckon it's no use waiting, And'tis time that we had the show. For the trouble - we can't see why Seems with us, and not with him, As he stands'neath the autumn sky, So strangely solemn and dim! But high let our standard flout it! "Sic semper " the drop comes downAnd, (woe to the rogues that doubt it!) There's an end of old John Brown I December sth, I859.
Page 111 III HONEST ABE. (NOMINATION OF 1860.) "A most hideous nickname." "L ONEST ABE!" What strange vexation Thrills an office-armchaired party I What impatience and disgust That the people should put trust In a name so true and hearty! What indignant lamentation For the unchosen- surely fitter (Growl they) than a rough rail-splitter Most unheard-of nomination! If the name you chance to mention, Sir (they splutter) the Convention, Sir, has acted like a babe! You have missed it, be assured, All your best men left to leeward; Give us Banks, or Bates, or Seward, But confound this "HONEST ABE I " There's a story somewhere told, By a fellow grave and old, Which, just now, is rather pat.
Page 112 112 I bethink me of his name - Plutarch - and of lives the same Had as many as a cat. In the little State of Athens WVas a usage, there and then Practised by those classic heathens, Rather hard on public men. Whatsoe'er the service past, If they happened to distrust'emThought'em getting on too fast'Twas, it seems, the pleasant custom Just an oyster-shell to shy (Sans a wherefore or a why) Into a ballot-box huge and high With whatever name upon it Chanced the elector's mind to strike, (Sulking, like a jealous noddy, O'er his Norwalks and his toddy,) Well - the name of anybody That he didn't chance to like. And the gentleman who won itSuch election - (held to tell What the free enlightened wished) Was, in fact, considered dished, And served out on the half-shell I And must needs, at any rate, Draw a line in double-quick, Mizzle, vamos, cut his stick, And absquatulate!
Page 113 1I3 Simple and ingenious scheme I Of split tickets there were none (Though the bivalve you might deem Suited well for such extreme) - Hard or Soft Shell -all was one! Once, while thus with general clamor Athens eased her factious heart When the smith forsook his hammer, And the huckster left his mart Past the scene of noisy riot, Clatter of shells and windy talk, Aristides, calm and quiet, Chanced to take a morning walk. Musing, in his wonted fashion, On the double care of state - On the Demos' fickle passion, And the cold patrician hate; When a voter pressed beside him, Saying, "Stranger, can you spell Aristides? Wal, jest write him, Square and straight, on this here shell.' Smiling, cheery as a cricket, Wrote the old RepublicanThen, as he returned the ticket, Asked - "And what's his crime, my man? H
Page 114 II4 "Wal, not much," said Snooks, appearing Puzzled, "only I'll be cussed But I'm sick to death of hearing That old critter called'THE JUST'!" THE CAMP OF NOVEMBER. (ELECTION OF Ix856.) AST o'er the desert rode Fremont, O'er the broad and burning plain By the Bitter Lake, and the frozen font In the wild Nevada's chain. The wolf howled long round his lonely camp, The mist of morning was cold and damp, And the dark Platte foamed o'er his charger's neck Ere he stood on the grand Sierra's Peak. There's a blacker tide to stem, my boys! There's a rougher hill to climb! We shall camp'mid faction's snarling noise, And the howl of startled crime. There's work to do ere we gain the goal - There are logs and lumps from our track to rollThere are mules to spur - there are wolves to scare From the prey they gorge in their bloody lair.
Page 115 XI5 Do we wait to drink of a bitterer cup? Or clamor for darker proof? The corse lies stark, and the smoke goes up From the settler's burning roofOur brothers faint on the far-off plains, Their blood lies fresh'neath the Autumn rains. Are we yet to pause? do we linger till The slave-roll is called on Bunker Hill? Too long have we stood in idle doubt Too blind and deaf we have been To the foul assault that foamed without, And the fouler treason within. But the clock is striking the final hour Of fools in office and knaves in power. From their place of crime they shall slink away, Like guilty ghosts at the dawn of day. The Dagon that lords it o'er our land, Have at him, one and all! Let us league like brothers, heart and hand, Till the monstrous idol fall. Tumble him down to rot away, With his front of brass and his feet of clay. Stand, and our children yet shall see Not an inch of soil but is fair and free. Let us prove the right that men may do, Let us march to the Union's tread - We are led by one that is tried and true, And we're watched by One o'erhead.
Page 116 ii6 The camp-fire shining to cheer our toil Shall never be kindled on servile soil. The land that was bought with our father's graves Shall never be trod or tilled by slaves! ABRAHAM LINCOLN. (SUMMER, I865.) EAD is the roll of the drums, And the distant thunders die, They fade in the far-off sky; And a lovely summer comes, Like the smile of Him on high. Lulled, the storm and the onset. Earth lies in a sunny swoon; Stiller splendor of noon, Softer glory of sunset, Milder starlight and moon! For the kindly Seasons love us; They smile over trench and clod, (Wvhere we left the bravest of us,) There's a brighter green of the sod, And a holier calm above us In the blessed Blue of God.
Page 117 117 The roar and ravage were vain; And Nature, that never yields, Is busy with sun and rain At her old sweet work again On the lonely battle-fields. How the tall white daisies grow, WVhere the grim artillery rolled! (Was it only a moon ago? It seems a century old,) - And the bee hums in the clover, As the pleasant June comes on; Aye, the wars are all over, But our good Father is gone. There was tumbling of traitor fort, Flaming of traitor fleetLighting of city and port, Clasping in square and street. There was thunder of mine and gun, Cheering by mast and tent, - When - his dread work all done, And his high fame full won - Died the Good President. In his quiet chair he sate, Pure of malice or guile, Stainless of fear or hate, - And there played a pleasant smile
Page 118 ii8 On the rough and careworn face; For his heart was all the while On means of mercy and grace. The brave old Flag drooped o'er him, (A fold in the hard hand lay,) - He looked, perchance, on the play, - But the scene was a shadow before him, For his thoughts were far away. 'Twas but the morn, (yon fearful Death-shade, gloomy and vast, Lifting slowly at last,) His household heard him say, "'Tis long since I've been so cheerful, So light of heart as to-day." 'Twas dying, the long dread clang, But, or ever the blessed ray Of peace could brighten to day, Murder stood by the way Treason struck home his fang! One throb - and, without a pang, That pure soul passed away. Idle, in this our blindness, To marvel we cannot see Wherefore such things should be; Or to question Infinite Kindness Of this or of that Decree.
Page 119 II9 Or to fear lest Nature bungle, That in certain ways she errs, - The Cobra in the jungle, The crotalus in the sod,' Evil and good are hers, Murderers and torturers! Ye, too, were made by God. All slowly heaven is nighing, Needs that offence must come; Ever the Old Wrong dying Will sting, in the death-coil lying, And hiss till its fork be dumb. But dare deny no further, Black-hearted, brazen-cheeked! Ye on whose lips yon murther These fifty moons hath reeked, From the wretched scenic dunce, Long a-hungered to rouse A Nation's heart for the nonce, - (Hugging his hell, so that once He might yet bring down the house!) - From the commons, gross and simple, Of a blind and bloody land, (Long fed on venomous lies!) To the horrid heart and hand That sumless murder dyes -
Page 120 I120 The hand that drew the wimple Over those cruel eyes. Pass on, -your deeds are done, Forever sets your sun; Vainly ye lived or died, 'Gainst Freedom and the Laws, - And your memory and your cause Shall haunt o'er the trophied tide Like some Pirate Caravel floating Dreadful, adrift - whose crew From her yard-arms dangle rotting The old Horror of the blue. Avoid ye, - let the morrow Sentence or mercy see. Pass to your place: our sorrow Is all too dark to borrow One shade from such as ye. But if one, with merciful eyes, From the forgiving skies Looks,'mid our gloom, to see Yonder where Murder lies, Stripped of the woman guise, And waiting the doom -'tis he. Kindly Spirit! - Ah, when did treason Bid such a generous nature cease,
Page 121 I21 Mild by temper and strong by reason, But ever leaning to love and peace? A head how sober; a heart how spacious; A manner equal with high or low; Rough but gentle, uncouth but gracious, And still inclining to lips of woe. Patient when saddest, calm when sternest, Grieved when rigid for justice' sake; Given to jest, yet ever in earnest If aught of right or truth were at stake. Simple of heart, yet shrewd therewith, Slow to resolve, but firm to hold; Still with parable and with myth Seasoning truth, like Them of old; Aptest humor and quaintest pith! (Still we smile o'er the tales he told.) And if, sometimes, in saddest stress, That mind, over-meshed by fate, (Ringed round with treason and hate, And guiding the State by guess,) Could doubt and could hesitate - Who, alas, had done less In the world's most deadly strait? Burhow true to the Common Cause! Of his task how unweary! 6
Page 122 122 How hard he worked, how good he was, How kindly and cheery! How, while it marked redouble The howls and hisses and sneers, That great heart bore our trouble Through all these terrible years; And, cooling passion with state, And ever counting the cost, Kept the Twin World-Robbers in wait Till the time for their clutch was lost. How much he cared for the State, How little for praise or pelf! A man too simply great To scheme for his proper self But in mirth that strong heart rested From its strife with the false and violent,A jester! - So Henry jested, So jested William the Silent. Orange, shocking the dull With careless conceit and quip, Yet holding the dumb heart full With Holland's life on his lip! Navarre, bonhomme and pleasant, 9 Pitying the poor man's lot,
Page 123 123 Wishing that every peasant A chicken had in his pot; Feeding the stubborn bourgeois, Though Paris still held out; Holding the League in awe, But jolly with allabout. Out of an o'erflowed fulness Those deep hearts seemed too light, - (And so'twas, murder's dulness Was set with sullener spite.) Yet whoso might pierce the guise Of mirth in the man we mourn, Would mark, and with grieved surprise, All the great soul had borne, In the piteous lines, and the kind, sad eyes So dreadfully wearied and worn. And we trusted, (the last dread page Once turned, of our Dooms-day Scroll,) To have seen him, sunny of soul, In a cheery, grand old age. But, Father,'tis well with thee I And since ever, when God draws nigh, Some grief for the good must be, 'Twas well, even so to die,
Page 124 I24 'Mid the thunder of Treason's fall, The yielding of haughty town, The crashing of cruel wall, The trembling of tyrant crown! The ringing of hearth and pavement To the clash of falling chains, - The centuries of enslavement Dead, with their blood-bought gains I And through trouble weary and long Well hadst thou seen the way, Leaving the State so strong It did not reel for a day; And even in death couldst give A token for Freedom's strifeA proof how republics live, And not by a single life, But the Right Divine of man, And the many, trained to be free,And none, since the world began, Ever was mourned like thee. Dost thou feel it, O noble Heart! (So grieved and so wronged below,) From the rest wherein thou art? Do they see it, those patient eyes? Is there heed in the happy skies For tokens of world-wide woe? Al
Page 125 125 The Land's great lamentations, The mighty mourning of cannon, The myriad flags half-mastThe late remorse of the nations, Grief from Volga to Shannon! (Now they know thee at last.) How, from gray Niagara's shore To Canaveral's surfy shoalFrom the rough Atlantic roar To the long Pacific roll - For bereavement and for dole, Every cottage wears its weed, White as thine own pure soul, And black as the traitor deed. How, under a nation's pall, The dust so dear in our sight To its home on the prairie past, - The leagues of funeral, The myriads, morn and night, Pressing to look their last. Nor alone the State's Eclipse; But how tears in hard eyes gather - And on rough and bearded lips, Of the regiments and the ships - "Oh, our dear Father!" And methinks of all the million That looked on the dark dead face,
Page 126 126 'Neath its sable-plumed pavilion, The crone of a humbler race Is saddest of all to think on, And the old swart lips that said, Sobbing,'" Abraham Lincoln! Oh, he is dead, he is dead! " Hush! let our heavy souls To-day be glad; for agen The stormy music swells and rolls, Stirring the hearts of men. And under the Nation's Dome, They've guarded so well and long, Our boys come marching home, Two hundred thousand strong. All in the pleasant month of May, With war-worn colors and drums, Still, through the livelong summer's day, Regiment, regiment comes. Like the tide, yesty and barmny, That sets on a wild lee-shore, Surge the ranks of an army Never reviewed before I lVho shall look on the like agen, Or see such host of the brave? A mighty River of marching men
Page 127 I27 Rolls the Capital through Rank on rank, and wave on wave, Of bayonet-crested blue! How the chargers neigh anid champ, (Their riders weary of camp,) With curvet and with caracole!The cavalry comes with thundrous tramp, And the cannons heavily roll. And ever, flowery and gay, The Staff sweeps on in a spray Of tossing forelocks and manes; But each bridle-arm has a weed Of funeral, black as the steed That fiery Sheridan reins. Grandest of mortal sights The sun-browned ranks to viewThe Colors ragg'd in a hundred fights, And the dusty Frocks of Blue! And all day, mile on mile, WVith cheer, and waving, and smile, The war-worn legions defile Where the nation's noblest stand; And the Great Lieutenant looks on, With the Flower of a rescued Land,For the terrible work is done, And the Good Fight is won For God and for Fatherland.
Page 128 128 So, from the fields they win, Our men are marching home, A million are marching home! To the cannon's thundering din, And banners on mast and dome,And the ships come sailing in With all their ensigns dight, As erst for a great sea-fight. Let every color fly, Every pennon flaunt in pride; Wave, Starry Flag, on high! Float in the sunny sky, Stream o'er the stormy tide! For every stripe of stainless hue, And every star in the field of blue, Ten thousand of the brave and true Have laid them down and died. And in all our pride to-day We think, with a tender pain, Of those so far away They will not come home again. And our boys had fondly thought, To-day, in marching by, From the ground so dearly bought, And the fields so bravely fought, To have met their Father's eye.
Page 129 129 But they may not see him in place, Nor their ranks be seen of him; We look for the well-known face, And the splendor is strangely dim. Perished? -who was it said Our Leader had passed away? Dead? Our President dead? He has not died for a day I We mourn for a little breath Such as, late or soon, dust yields; But the Dark Flower of Death Blooms in the fadeless fields. We looked on a cold, still brow, But Lincoln could yet survive; He never was more alive, Never nearer than now. For the pleasant season found him, Guarded by faithful hands, In the fairest of Summer Lands; With his own brave Staff around him, There our President stands. There they are all at his side, The noble hearts and true, That did all men might doThen slept, with their swords, and died 6* I
Page 130 I30 Of little the storm has reft us But the brave and kindly clay-, ('Tis but dust where Lander left us, And but turf where Lyon lay.) There's Winthrop, true to the end, And Ellsworth of long ago, (First fair young head laid low!) There's Baker, the brave old friend, And Douglas, the friendly foe. (Baker, that still stood up When'twas death on either hand; "'Tis a soldier's part to stoop, But the Senator must stand.") The heroes gather and form, There's Cameron, with his scars, Sedgwick, of siege and storm, And Mitchell, that joined his stars. Winthrop, of sword and pen, Wadsworth, with silver hair, Mansfield, ruler of men, And brave McPherson are there. Birney, who led so long, Abbott, born to command, Elliott the bold, and Strong, Who fell on the hard-fought strand.
Page 131 131 Lytle, soldier and bard, And the Ellets, sire and son - Ransom, all grandly scarred, And Redfield, no more on guard, (But Alatoona is won!) Reno, of pure desert, Kearney, with heart of flame, And Russell, that hid his hurt Till the final death-bolt came; Terrill, dead where he fought, Wallace, that would not yield, And Sumner, who vainly sought A grave on the foughten field, (But died ere the end he saw, With years and battles outworn.) There's Harmon of Kenesaw, And Ulric Dahlgren, and Shaw, That slept with his Hope Forlorn. Bayard, that knew not fear, (True as the knight of yore,) And Putnam, and Paul Revere, Worthy the names they bore. Allen, who died for others, Bryan, of gentle fame, Anrid the brave New England brothers That have left us Lowell's name.
Page 132 132 Home, at last, from the wars,- - Stedman, the staunch and mild, And Janeway, our hero-child, Home, with his fifteen scars I There's Porter, ever in front, True son of a sea-king sire, And Christian Foote, and Dupont, (Dupont, who led his ships Rounding the first Ellipse Of thunder and of fire.) There's Ward, with his brave death-wounds, And Cummings, of spotless name, And Smith, who hurtled his rounds When deck and hatch were aflame; Wainwright, steadfast and true, Rodgers, of brave sea-blood, And Craven, with ship and crew Sunk in the salt sea flood. And, a little later to part, Our Captain, noble and dear - (Did they deem thee, then, austere? Drayton! - 0 pure and kindly heart I Thine is the seaman's tear.) All such,- and many another, (Ah, list how long to name!)
Page 133 133 That stood like brother by brother, And died on the field of fame. And around - (for there can cease This earthly trouble) - they throng, The friends that had passed in peace, The foes that have seen their wrong. (But, a little from the rest, With sad eyes looking down, And brows of softened frown, With stern arms on the chest, Are two, standing abreast. Stonewall and Old John Brown.) But the stainless and the true, These by their President stand, To look on his last review, Or march with the old command. And lo, from a thousand fields, From all the old battle-haunts, A greater Army than Sherman wields, A grander Review than Grant's! Gathered home from the grave, Risen from sun and rainRescued from wind and wave Out of the stormy main The Legions of our Brave Are all in their lines again! It
Page 134 134 Many a stout Corps that went, Full-ranked, from camp and tent, And brought back a brigade; Many a brave regiment, That mustered only a squad. The lost battalions, That, when the fight went wrong, Stood and died at their guns, The stormers steady and strong, With their best blood that bought Scarp, and ravelin, and wall, - The companies that fought Till a corporal's guard was all. Many a valiant crew, That passed in battle and wreck,Ah, so faithful and true! They died on the bloody deck, They sank in the soundless blue. All the loyal and bold That lay on a soldier's bier, The stretchers borne to the rear, The hammocks lowered to the hold. The shattered wreck we hurried, In death-fight, from deck and port, - The Blacks that Wagner buried That died in the Bloody Fort!
Page 135 I35 Comrades of camp and mess, Left, as they lay, to die, In the battle's sorest stress, When the storm of fight swept by, They lay in the Wilderness, Ah, where did they not lie? In the tangled swamp they lay, They lay so still on the sward! - They rolled in the sick-bay, Moaning their lives away They flushed in the fevered ward. They rotted in Libby yonder, They starved in the foul stockadeHearing afar the thunder Of the Union cannonade! But the old wounds all are healed, And the dungeoned limbs are free,The Blue Frocks rise from the field, The Blue Jackets out of the sea. They've'scaped from the torture-den, They've broken the bloody sod, They're all come to life agen! - The Third of a Million men That died for Thee and for God I A tenderer green than May The Eternal Season wears,
Page 136 I36 The blue of our summer's day Is dim and pallid to theirs,The Horror faded away, And'twas heaven all unawares I Tents on the Infinite Shore! Flags in the azuline sky, Sails on the seas once more! To-day, in the heaven on high, All under arms once more! The troops are all in their lines, The guidons flutter and play; But every bayonet shines, For all must march to-day. What lofty pennons flaunt? What mighty echoes haunt, As of great guins, o'er the main? Hark to the sound again The Congress is all a-taunt! The Cumberland's manned again! All the ships and their men Are in line of battle to-day,All at quarters, as when Their last roll thundered away,All at their guns, as then, For the Fleet salutes today.
Page 137 137 The armies have broken camp On the vast and sunny plain, The drums are rolling again; With steady, measured tramp, They're marching all again. With alignment firm and solemn, Once again they form In mighty square and column, But never for charge and storm. The Old Flag they died utinder Floats above them on the shore, And on the great ships yonder The ensigns dip once more - And once again the thunder Of the thirty guns and four I In solid platoons of steel, Under heaven's triumphal arch, The long lines break and wheel - And the word is, "Forward, march!" The Colors ripple o'erhead, The drums roll up to the sky, And with martial time and tread The regiments all pass byThe ranks of our faithful Dead, Meeting their President's eye. 19
Page 138 I38 With a soldier's quiet pride They smile o'er the perished pain, For their anguish was not vain - For thee, O Father, we died! And we did not die in vain. March on, your last brave mile I Salute him, Star and Lace, Form round him, rank and file, And look on the kind, rough face; But the quaint and homely smile Has a glory and a grace It never had known erewhile - Never, in time and space. Close round him, hearts of pride! Press near him, side by side, Our Father is not alone! For the Holy Right ye died, And Christ, the Crucified, Waits to welcome his own
Page 139 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.
Page 141 PSYCHAURA. THE wind of an autumn midnight Is moaning around my door - The curtains wave at the window, The carpet lifts on the floor. There are sounds like startled footfalls In the distant chambers now, And the touching of airy fingers Is busy on hand and brow. 'Tis thus, in the Soul's dark dwelling - By the moody host unsought - Through the chambers of memory wander The invisible airs of thought. For it bloweth where it listeth, With a murmur loud or low; WNhence it cometh- whither it goeth - None tell us, and none may know. 41
Page 142 142 Now wearying round the portals Of the vacant, desolate mind - As the doors of a ruined mansion, That creak in the cold night wind. And anon an awful memory Sweeps over it fierce and highLike the roar of a mountain forest When the midnight gale goes by. Then its voice subsides in wailing, And, ere the dawning of day, Murmuring fainter and fainter, In the distance dies away. OLD PAPERS. S who, in idly searching o'er Some seldom-entered garret shed, Might, with strange pity, touch the poor Moth-eaten garments of the dead, Thus, (to their wearer once allied,) I lift these weeds of buried woeThese relics of a Self that died So sadly and so long ago.
Page 143 143 'Tis said that seven short years can change, Through nerve and bone, this knitted frame, -- Cellule by cellule waxing strange, Till not an atom is the same. By what more subtle, slow degrees, Thus may the mind transmute its all, That calmly it should dwell on these, As on another's fate and fall! So far remote from joy or bale, Wherewith each dusky page is rife, I seem to read some piteous tale Of romance, true unto the life. Too daring thoughts! too idle deeds! A soul that questioned, loved, and sinned! And hopes, that stand like last year's weeds And shudder in the dead March wind! Grave of gone dreams! could such convulse Youth's fevered trance? - The plot grows thick; Was it this cold and even pulse That thrilled with life so fierce and quick? Well, I can smile at all this now, - But cannot smile when I recall The heart of faith, the open brow, The trust that once was all in all;
Page 144 '44 Nor when - Ah, faded, spectral sheet! Wraith of long-perished wrong and timeForbear! the spirit starts to meet The resurrection of its crime! Starts - from its human world shut out - As some detected changeling elf, Doomed, with strange agony and doubt, To enter on his former self. Ill-omened leaves, still rust apart! No further! -'tis a page turned o'er, And the long dead and coffined heart Throbs into wretched life once more. ALL TOGETHER. LD friends and dear! it were ungentle rhyme, If I should question of your true hearts, whether Ye have forgotten that far, pleasant time, The good old time when we were all together. Our limbs were lusty and our souls sublime; We never heeded cold and winter weather, Nor sun nor travel, in that cheery time, The brave old time when we were all together.
Page 145 I45 Pleasant it was to tread the mountain thyme, Sweet was the pure and piny mountain ether, And pleasant all; but this was in the time, The good old time when we were all together. Since then I've strayed through many a fitful clime, (Tossed on the wind of fortune like a feather,) And chanced with rare good fellows in my time But ne'er the time that we have known together: But none like those brave hearts, (for now I climb Gray hills alone, or thread the lonely heather,) That walked beside me in the ancient time, The good old time when we were all together. Long since, we parted in our careless prime, Like summer birds no June shall hasten hither; No more to meet as in that merry time, The sweet spring-time that shone on all together. Some, to the fevered city's toil and grime, And some o'er distant seas, and some - ahl whither? Nay, we shall never meet as in the time, The dear old time when we were all together. And some - above their heads, in wind and rime, Year after year, the grasses wave and wither; Aye, we shall meet! -'tis but a little time, And all shall lie with folded hands together. 7 J
Page 146 146 And if, beyond the sphere of doubt and crime, Lie purer lands- ah! let our steps be thither; That, done with earthly change and earthly time, In God's good time we may be all together. SUSPIRIA NOCTIS. EADING, and reading -little is the gain Long dwelling with the minds of dead men leaves. List rather to the melancholy rain, Drop - dropping from the eaves. Still the old tale- how hardly worth the telling! Hark to the wind! -again that mournful sound, That, all night long, around this lonely dwelling, Moans like a dying hound.
Page 147 I47 TO THE POET. A YE, doubt, and hope, and dream! (Thou canst not choose)- and question the Divine! Thus - since of earth - did They, whose holier gleam Was clouded erst, as thine. Souls that, like Setting Suns, Have left their radiance flung on sea and shoreThe Wise, the Pure, the Everlasting Ones, They who have gone before. But muse no more in rhyme! Lest, haply, fond imaginings and hopes, In their inception truthful or sublime, Perish in wordy tropes. In quiet mark them roll, The grand, still shadows of eternityAnd mighty Thoughts, that move along the soul Like clouds upon the sea.
Page 148 I48 GONE. ONE and forever! the grace and glory, The passionate earth-life sweet and strong Good and glee are an old-time story, Hope and loving have left for long. How has it failed, the heart's free fountain! Hand and foot?- alas, was't these Leaped the chasm, and climbed the mountain, And held the tiller through stormy seas? How has it dwarfed, the soul's high stature! That clasped its darlings of earth and blue Knew the divine, or in art or nature, Loved the lovely, and owned the true. Spirit fordone! to thy darkening chamber Turn, with the penanced eyes of eld, Never again to behold the sunshine - Never again till the pulse be quelled. As when, forlornly, at saddest midnight, The pale, wan lips we shall press no more, Seen by the cold and colorless moonlight, Tremble farewell- and the dream is o'er; 4
Page 149 1 1 149 Thus, O Life that aspired and longed so! All amort, thou hast kissed good-bye, Good-bye to the Youth was loved and wronged so - And a chill, drear morn comes up the sky. PRESENTIMENT. TRANGE heaviness - I know not why. The old grief, methought, had grown more light - And no new ill hath chanced - yet I Am very sorrowful to-night. It is not that I cannot bear The burden countless hearts have borneIt is not that I shrink to wear The garment countless limbs have worn Nor that, through sordid care and strife, The soul her comrade must sustain, To draw with pain the breath of life, And break their daily bread with pain (So fiercely hath it drunk of joy, So deeply drained the dregs of woe, That common grief may scarce annoy, And common good were pale and low)
Page 150 150 But that, to-night, from out the throng Some surlier shadow flickers stillSome wraith of old ancestral wrong, Or cold rapport of coming ill. Haunt, an thou will, gray evil gone! Thrill, an'tis thou, dumb pang to be! The heart can hold ye both at one, That knows a sadder guest than ye. MIDNIGHT-A LAMENT. DO the dead carry their cares, Like us, to the place of rest? The long, long night -is it theirs, Weary to brain and breast? Ah, that I knew how it fares With One that I loved the best! I lie alone in the house. How the wretched North-wind raves! I listen, and think of those O'er whose heads the wet grass waves - Do they hear the wind that blows, And the rain on their lonely graves? 1. I
Page 151 15I Heads that I helped to lay On the pillow that lasts for aye. It is but a little way To the dreary hill where they lieNo bed but the cold, cold clay - No roof but the stormy sky. Cruel the thought and vain! They've now nothing more to bear - Done with sickness and pain, Done with trouble and careBut I hear the wind and the rain, And still I think of them there. Ah, couldst thou come to me, Bird that I loved the best! That I knew it was well with thee - Wild and weary North-West! Wail in chimney and tree Leave the dead to their rest.
Page 152 152 OCCIDENTE. OW coldly sets this winter sun The bitter day is wellnigh done; Forlorn December fares, with one Sad smile of last regret. Thus from thy brief and wintry day, O Soul! the sunshine ebbs away: Thus falls on thee the frozen ray, That lingers wanly yet: Thus dies- how fringed with icy gold, The clouds above yon mountain rolled! Behind whose summit, dark and cold, This winter sun has set. NOVEMBER. BY L. E. B. OVEMBER daies are short and dour, And mirk, mirk fa's the night; Sad and alane, by the firelight dim, Is a dame, in weedes bedight.
Page 153 153 For her four sons are gane frae her They are gane for mony a day: And as she listeth the wind monand, She grieveth, as well she may. Twa of them were clerkly taught, 'Mid the hills their weird they drie - And ane is aff on the high, high land, And ane is farre in the South Countrie. " 0, quan sall I get letters?" she said, "And quatten the newes I sall heare?" There came nae aunswer, nor ony sound But the sough o' the wind thro' the lindens dreare. "And 0, if I were sair sick!" she said, "And 0, if I suld dee! And my deare sons sae farre awa, And nane to comfort me. "The ugsome worme wolde gnawe at my cheeke Sae wolde he at my chinne: Lang, lang or e'er my bonnie sons To their mither's side colde winne. "And sairly wolde they greet to find Nae welcome at the' heartheNae welcome but frae twa white stanes And a knowe o' new-turn'd earthe." 7*
Page 154 I54 MARE NON CLAUSUM. S one who, for a bark that nevermore Shall meet her gaze, still looking wearily, Wanders, in wistful longing, on the shore Of the vast, desolate sea Thus, in vague quest of that she gathers not, The Soul along Life's margin lingereth - And, musing on the inevitable lot, Walks by the waves of Death Of that drear flood, whose ne'er-surveyed extent This our existence ever darkens roundAmid whose barren waste nor continent Nor island hath been found! Yet Hope, Columbus-like, would fondly deem Far in those gloomy depths a Land may lie, Of beauty never dreamed in human dream, Ne'er seen with human eye! And when her timid feet the chill tide laves, Voices, nigh lost, come from that far-off LandLost, in the wearying of a thousand waves Tumultuous on Life's strand.
Page 155 '55 How fare they- parting souls - that, ferried o'er, See all the known receding far behindAnd catch, as yet, no glimpse of that dim shore That waits the eternal Mind? THE BURIAL OF THE DANE. LUE gulf all around us, Blue sky overhead - Muster all on the quarter, We must bury the dead! It is but a Danish sailor, Rugged of front and form; A common son of the forecastle, Grizzled with sun and storm. His name, and the strand he hailed from We know - and there's nothing more! But perhaps his mother is waiting In the lonely Island of Fohr. Still, as he lay there dying, Reason drifting awreck, "'Tis my watch," he would mutter, "I must go upon deck!"
Page 156 156 Aye, on deck- by the foremast! But watch and look-out are done; The Union-Jack laid o'er him, How quiet he lies in the sun! Slow the ponderous engine, Stay the hurrying shaft! Let the roll of the ocean Cradle our giant craft - Gather around the grating, Carry your messmate aft! Stand in order, and listen To the holiest page of prayer I Let every foot be quiet, Every head be bare - The soft trade-wind is lifting A hundred locks of hair. Our captain reads the service, (A little spray on his cheeks,) The grand old words of burial, And the trust a true heart seeks "We therefore commit his body To the deep " - and, as he speaks, Launched from the weather railing, Swift as the eye can mark, The ghastly, shotted hammock Plunges, away from the shark,
Page 157 '57 Down, a thousand fathoms, Down into the dark! A thousand summers and winters The stormy Gulf shall roll High o'er his canvas coffin, But, silence to doubt and dole! There's a quiet harbor somewhere For the poor a-weary soul. Free the fettered engine, Speed the tireless shaft! Loose to'gallant and topsail, The breeze is fair abaft! Blue sea all around us, Blue sky bright o'erheadEvery man to his duty! We have buried our dead. Steamship Cahawba, at Sea, Jan. 20th, x858. A
Page 158 158 AD NAVEM. HO W shall we think of thee to-day - (For still our thoughts to thee must roam) - Oh, ship! that on the distant sea, Somewhere, art bringing Charley home? In airs of balm,'mid tropic isles, Borne slowly on, with sleepy sailOr madly plunging, double-reefed, Against this wild northwestern gale? This blast that, hurrying o'er the flood, In turbid waves the causey whelms - Flings white-caps o'er the shattered pier - And howls amid these wintry elms. lVhile he, this very hour perchance, Slow rocking in his eyrie high, Reclined, surveys with loving glance The calm expanse of sea and sky. Blow fair and strong, thou southern gale, The flying Gulf before thee foam! Fill blithely every stitch of sail That bears the wanderer to his home.
Page 159 159 And speed the good ship on her way Ship! that a freight dost hither bring More welcome than the flowers of May, That crown this late and lingering spring. THE RETURN OF KANE. OLL, tower and minster, toll O'er the city's ebb and flow I Roll, muffled drum, still roll With solemn beat and slow!A brave and a splendid soul Hath gone - where all shall go. Dimmer, in gloom and dark, Waned the taper, day by day, And a nation watched the spark, Till its fluttering died away. Was its flame so strong and calm Through the dismal years of ice, To die'mid the orange and the palm And the airs of Paradise? Over that simple bier While the haughty Spaniard bows, I
Page 160 x6o Grief may join in the generous tear, And Vengeance forget her vows. Aye, honor the wasted form That a noble spirit woreLightly it presses on the warm Spring sod of its parent shore; Hunger and darkness, cold and storm Never shall harm it more. No more of travel and toil, Of Tropic or Arctic wild: Gently, 0 Mother Soil, Take thy worn and wearied child. Lay him - the tender and true - To rest with such who are gone, Each chief of the valiant crew That died as our own hath done - Let him rest with stout Sir Hugh, Sir Humphrey, and good Sir John. And let grief be far remote, As we march from the place of death, To the blithest note of the fife's clear throat, And the bugle's cheeriest breath. Roll, stirring drum, still roll! Not a sign- not a sound of woe, That a grand and a glorious soul Hath gone where the brave must go. New Orleans, Feb. 24th, I857.
Page 161 I6I AT SEA. IDNIGHT in drear New England, 'Tis a driving storm of snowHow the casement clicks and rattles, And the wind keeps on to blow! For a thousand leagues of coast-line, In fitful flurries and starts, The wild North-Easter is knocking At lonely windows and hearts. Of a night like this, how many Mutist sit by the hearth, like me, Hearing the stormy weather, And thinking of those at sea! Of the hearts chilled through with watching, The eyes that wearily blink, Through the blinding gale and snow-drift, For the Lights of Navesink! How fares it, my friend, with you? If I've kept your reckoning aright, The brave old ship must be due On our dreary coast, to-night. K 4
Page 162 i62 The fireside fades before me, The chamber quiet and warm - And I see the gleam of her lanterns In the wild Atlantic storm. Like a dream,'tis all around me - The gale, with its steady boom, And the crest of every roller Torn into mist and spumeThe sights and the sounds of Ocean On a night of peril and gloom. The shroud of snow and of spoon-drift Driving like mad a-leeAnd the huge black hulk that wallows Deep in the trough of the sea. The creak of cabin and bulkhead, The wail of rigging and mast - The roar of the shrouds, as she rises From a deep lee-roll to the blast. The sullen throb of the engine, Whose iron heart never tires - The swarthy faces that redden By the glare of his caverned fires. The binnacle slowly swaying, And nursing the faithful steel - And the grizzled old quarter-master, His horny hands on the wheel. 0
Page 163 i63 I can see it - the little cabin Plainly as if I were there - The chart on the old green table, The book, and the empty chair. On the deck we have trod together, A patient and manly form, To and fro, by the foremast, Is pacing in sleet and storm. Since her keel first struck cold water, By the Stormy Cape's clear Light, 'Tis little of sleep or slumber, Hath closed o'er that watchful sightAnd a hundred lives are hanging On eye and on heart to-night Would that to-night, beside him, I walked the watch on her deck, Recalling the Legends of Ocean, Of ancient battle and wreck. But the stout old craft is rolling A hundred leagues a-lee Fifty of snow-wreathed hill-side, And fifty of foaming sea. I cannot hail him, nor press him By the hearty and true right hand I can but murmur,- God bless him! And bring him safe to the land. e
Page 164 I64 And send him the best of weather, That, ere many suns shall shine, We may sit by the hearth together, And talk about Auld Lang Syne. February 3d, 1859. ALONE. A SAD old house by the sea. Were we happy, I and thou, In the days that used to be? There is nothing left me now But to lie, and think of thee, With folded hands on my breast, And list to the weary sea Sobbing itself to rest. 0
Page 165 x65 WAITING FOR THE SHIP. BY C. D'W. B. E are ever waiting, waiting, Waiting for the tide to turn "For the train at Coventry "For the sluggish fire to burnFor a far-off friend's return. We are ever hoping, hoping, Hoping that the wind will shiftThat success may crown our venture - That the morning fog may lift - That the dying may have shrift. We are ever fearing, fearing, Fearing lest the ship have sailedThat the sick may ne'er rec6ver - That the letter was not mailed - That the trusted firm has failed. We are ever wishing, wishing, Wishing we were far at sea That the winter were but overThat we could but find the key - That the prisoner were free.
Page 166 i66 Wishing, fearing, hoping, waiting, Through life's voyage- moored at last, Tedious doubts shall merge forever, (Be their sources strait or vast,) In the inevitable Past. IN ARTICULO MORTIS. THE monarchy is very old," he said, .1 "But it will last my time- then, after us, The Deluge!" and meanwhile, (his thought ran thus,) Our Parc au Cerfs- and Damiens to his bed Of fire and steel. A little, and men see That plague-scored lump, gasping, " e sens la Mo/rt." (Had that brief word been thine, ah, long before! France had been happier -and'twere well with thee.) One cries, "The King is dead - long live the King!" What loyal haste in every heart prevails! In yon deserted room a hideous thing Through open windows taints the soft spring gales. Hear the Stampede of Courtiers, echoing Like thunder through the galleries of Versailles.
Page 167 I i67 SONG OF THE ARCHANGELS. PROLOGUE IN FAUST. RAPHAEL. HE sun yet sounds his ancient song, Exultant,'mid the choral spheres; In thunder-swiftness rolled along, He journeys through the allotted years. The angels strengthen in his light, Though none may read his mystic gaze; T.HY works, unutterably bright, Are fair as on the First of Days. GABRIEL. And swift, unutterably swift, Revolves the splendor of the world; The gleams of Aidenn glow and shift, The shroud of night is spread and furled. The sea in foamy waves is hurled Against the rooted rocks profound; And rocks and seas, together whirled, Sweep on in their eternal round. MICHAEL. And storms are shouting, as in strife, From sea to land, from land to sea,
Page 168 i68 And weave a chain of wildest life Round all, in rude tempestuous glee. There desolation flies abroad Before the thunder's dreaded way: And here THY messengers, 0 Lord I Watch the sweet parting of THY day. THE THREE. The angels strengthen in THY sight, Though none may know THY wondrous ways; Yea, all THY works sublimely bright Are fair as on the First of Days. APRES LA SOMMEII,L. H, the anguish and the shame, And the bitter throbs of blame, And the grief that could but weep, All are lulled by loving sleep. Like a summer storm it passed, Dew and starlight followed fast And she lifts her lids at last, With a tender, growing gaze, Half of softness, half amaze With a rapture, low and faint, Like some long-tormented saint Opening recovered eyes On a Morn of Paradise. e
Page 169 I69 THE CHANGELING. A, mother watched my weary head, And father held my hand, So I went to sleep in my little bed But I woke in the Elfin-land. How am I ever to find myself? When the old room shall I see? In my cradle lieth an ugsome elf And they weep, and think'tis me. TWILIGHT. HE mountain wears an ominous frown, In the face of the troubled sky - The woods on his crown gloom darkly down From their rooted hold on highLike the hair of a giant close shorn, I trow, They bristle up from his shaggy brow. 8
Page 170 170 RAPPORT. TRANGE recognition, or of friend or foe, Methinks, dumb Nature hath.v This morn, as on an errand I did go, Pregnant of wrong and wrath - Sliding askant, their venomous lids arow, Three serpents crossed my path. May lower Malice scent out, in the vast, Some Sin, her foster-child? (How the bead-eyes leered on me as they passed!) A shudder- then I smiled; Ha, dost thou wink me? Sathanas, avast! I will be strong, but mild. QU'IL MOURUT. OT a sob, not a tear be spent For those who fell at his sideBut a moan and a long lament For him- who might have died I
Page 171 17I Who might have lain, as Harold lay, A King, and in state enow Or slept with his peers, like Roland In the Straits of Roncesvaux. THE STEAM-SPIRIT. ON SEEING A STEAM-ENGINE OF COLORED GLASSES. E have read, with delight and wonder, In the old Arabian tale, How the Genie of smoke and vapor, When freed from his copper jail, To show his cunning and mettle, Crept into the pot again; But they clapped the lid on his kettle, And made him a slave to men. Still, in flue and in boiler, The Sprite is condemned to lurk To swelter, puffing and blowing For still we keep him at work; 'Mid the Armory's angry clamors, Forging sabre and gun
Page 172 172 Lifting his huge tilt-hammers Steadily, one by one; Where the mountain of cotton dwindles, Playing his endless parts, 'Mid the roar of reels and windles, And shuttles flying like darts - Whirling a thousand spindles, Wasting a thousand hearts; Where winds and waves run frantic, Toiling with tireless clank, Afar, on the wild Atlantic One arm, bony and lank, Pumping calm and pedantic - T'other turning his crank. But he is not to weld the anchor, Nor grind in the mill to-dayThe fettered and blinded giant Is shown for our sport and play. The Steam-King's prison? -between us, 'Tis rather some wondrous toy, Tinkered by Vulcan for Venus, When they were girl and boy; Or an engine built by the fairies For good little folks' delight - Of amber, ruby, and crystal, To run of a Christmas night.
Page 173 I73 Pearl, and candy, and coral, Like a Baby-Inventor's dreamOberon trying the whistle, (Saucy, elfin-like scream!) Puck, with down of the thistle, Busy, getting up steam. Elves, by the dozen, clinging On piston and beam, pell-mellTiny Titania ringing Hard at the ruby bell. Some at guage and eccentric Others, all in a string, Perched upon shaft and fly-wheeI, Whirl in a rainbow ring. Prettiest plaything of Science! Fitter, methinks, to stand (Safe from rude, mortal fingers,) Spinning in Fairy-Land; 'Mid the fruits of beryl and topaz, With emerald leaves enrolled, That grew in Aladdin's garden, In the wonderful days of oldThe grapes of opal and amber, And the apples of garnet and gold. * e** *e*
Page 174 174 LINES, KIMPOSED A BORED OF A CALIFORNY MALE-STEEMER. BY A PARSINGER. AL! of all the cussed kinveyances, Ef this isn't about the wust! Nothin but rockin an rollin An pitchin, from the verry fustThe ingine a groanin, and the biler Lyable enny minnit to bust. Fust wun side, dum it, and then tuther! Till Ime dogged ef I no wot to du - Rock away, yu darnd old kradle! I wos a baby wen I got inter you. None on em seems to keer 61 cents How bad a feller may feel, Nur to talk to him - not even the saler Foolin away his time on a wheel. Thar's the capting I aint it provokin To see that critter, all threw the trip, Continooally drinkin and smokin, WVen he orter be a mindin on his ship.
Page 175 '75 It's enuf to aggeravait a body, And it aint manners, I think, To set thar takin down his toddy, And never askin nary parsinger to drink. And the pusser, all he keers fur, Is fur to hev a time with his pals. I say, darn sech a pusser! jest heer him Flurtin and carrin on among the gals! And wen he's tired o' that, wot follers? In his little cabbing thar he sets Like a spyder, among berrils o' dollers Enuf to pay a feller's dets. That's all they keers for parsingers, Is, to git the two-hunder'N-fifty-dolers out of his pockit inter theirn, And then he may go to thunder. Ef a feller's driv to distraxion In a blo, and axes wot to du, He cant git no sort o' sattisfaxion Out o' none on em - capting, mait, nur crew. Wun day I clim inter their blamed riggin, Jest to see wot thar wos, and in hopes To kepe shet of em wun spell- but dog it! I see 2 on em comin up the ropes.
Page 176 176 Wun on em ketcht me and hilt hold on me, While tother misrable cuss Tide me up with a nasty, sticky cloze-line, Smellin o' tar or sumthin wuss. Thar they kep me -darn their picturs! And nobody done nothin but larf, Till I'd forkt out fur a bottle o' brandy - It come to $ 21. That's the last $ 2~ They'll ever git out o' me, Fur Ile travvil in a durned top-waggin, Afore Ile be ketcht agin to see. . *4
Page 177 EARLY POEMS. L 8*
Page 178 I
Page 179 "EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY."14 ES, all will pass away This sad and weary day, That lingers on my path, so dull and cold, Will find its home at last In the returnless Past, And join its unregretted mates of old: And on some other morn A brighter Babe be bornHaply, more gentle in its task than ye, Children of loveless Time, All withered in your prime, Dark Hours, that long have borne me company I HATH it not erst been said, (As I, methinks, have read In some old chronicle with moral fraught,) How one, in days gone by, 'Mid torments doomed to dieConsoled him with the stern, yet trusty thought,
Page 180 I8o That, when of one long sun The bitter sands had run, Hate would have done its worst, its last on him Each nerve, so quick with pain, Could never thrill againNor one pang more convulse each wretched limb. WE know not what there is, Perchance akin to this, Which nerves us to endure the Life we bear - Borne, like the PILGRIM'S load, O'er many a weary road, Through many a path of sorrow, sin and care. And oh! like him could I, These wanderings all past by, Lay down the weight wherewith our footsteps err How little recked by me Its resting-place would be, Though'twere, like his, a wayside sepulchre.' December, x844.
Page 181 I8i PLACE DE LA REVOLUTION. (io THERMIDOR, I794.) " When the wicked perish, there is shouting." ERE let us stand - windows, and roofs, and leads, Alive with clinging thousands- what a scene! And in the midst, above that sea of heads, Glooms the black Guillotine. A scene like that in the Eternal City, When on men's hearts the Arena feasted highWhile myriads of dark faces, void of pity, Looked on to see them die. How the keen Gallic eyes dilate and glare! The flexile brows and lips grimace and frown How the walls tremble to their shout, whene'er That heavy steel comes down I 'Tis nearly over -twenty heads have rolled, One after one, upon the block- while cheers, And yells, and curses howled by hate untold, Rang in their dying ears.
Page 182 x82 One more is left - and now, amid a storm Of angry sound from that great human Hive, They rear upright a dizened ghastly form, Mangled, yet still alive. Like one emerging from a deadly swoon, His eyes unclose upon that living plain Those livid, snaky eyes! -he shuts them soon, Never to ope again. As that forlorn, last, wandering gaze they took, Perhaps those cruel eyes, in hopeless mood, Sought, in their agony, one pitying look 'Mid that vast multitude. Sought, but in vain - inextricably mixed On square and street and house-top - he surveys A hundred thousand human eyes, all fixed In one fierce, pitiless gaze. Down to the plank! the brutal headsmen tear Those blood-glued rags -nay, spare him need less pain! One cry! God grant that we may never hear A cry like that again! A pause - and the axe falls on Robespierre. That trenchant blade hath done its office wellHark to the mighty roar! down, Murderer Down to thy native Hell!
Page 183 I83 Again, that terrible Shout! till suburb far And crowded dungeon marvel what it mean Hurrah! and louder, louder yet, hurrah For the good Guillotine! And breasts unladen heave a longer breath And parting footsteps echo fast and light - Our Foe is lodged in the strong Prison of Death! Paris shall sleep to-night. THE TOMB OF COLUMBUS.15 N old cathedral, with its columned roof, And shrines, and pictured saints. The sun yet lingered On Cuzco's mountains, and the fragrant breath Of unknown tropic flowers came o'er my path, Wafted - how pleasantly! for I had been Long on the seas, and their salt waveless glare Had made green fields a longing. At the port I left our bark, with her tired mariners; And loitered on, amid gay-colored houses, Through the great square, and through the narrow streets, Till this old fane, inviting, stayed my steps.
Page 184 i84 While all alone, in the religious silence And pensive spirit of the place, I stood By the High Altar -near it, on the wall, A tablet of plain marble met my view, Modestly wrought- whereon an Effigy, And a few simple words in a strange tongue, Telling "Here lies Columbus." And that niche, That narrow space held all now left of Him For whom the Ancient World was once too little! Here, those illustrious Relics, doomed to wander Like their great Tenant, - (from the holy Crypt Of Valladolid to Moresque SevilleThence, voyaging West once more, to his beloved Hispaniola- thence, for refuge, hither,) Had found at last their final resting-place. But where were they - the fetters that had bound Those patient, manly limbs? the gift of Spain To him who gave a world? (in the king's name 'Twas written thus 16) - he kept them to the last, And charged they should lie with him in the grave. No loftier tomb? methought he should have lain Enshrined in some vast pile - some gorgeous domeReared by Castile to him who made her name Great in the nations. But he needs them not And haply, it is meeter for him thus
Page 185 i85 To rest surrounded by his own high Deeds - Like the great builder laid beneath the Temple He reared.17 "If thou wouldst view his monument, Look round thee." No severe majestic column, No mountain-piled, eternal pyramid, Such as a World might raise to its Discoverer, Marks his repose. But the keel-crowded port, -And the green island, and the waving palms,' And the deep murmur of a peopled city, And the great ocean whitened with new sails, And the wide continent stretching beyondAll, in a voice more eloquent than words - Inscriptions- told the story of his life. And mine own being Haply, but for thee, (If, in the tangled chain of crossed events We shudder now to dwell upon, this soul Had'scaped the fatal blank of non-existence,) Even now, I might have slaved in some old sea-port, Bowed to the oar -or delved in Hunnish mines, A serf- or toiled a reaper in the fields Of "merry England " - none too merry now! How quiet and how peaceful seemed his rest From those long labors? - all was calm repose. Within, such holy stillness -but, alas! Without, (sole stain on that great honored Name,)
Page 186 i86 A dismal sound of fetters! the chain-gang Passing just then, with its accursed clank. Long by that simple tomb I lingered- long Gazed with an awe more reverent than the pile Heaped over King or Kaiser, could inspire. On those calm, resolute features, ye might read, As in a book, his strange, eventful story. There was the Faith; the long-enduring Hope, More than Ulyssean; the Courage high, That fought the Infidel- and with stout heart Clung to the shattered oar, which bore a greater Than Cesar and his fortunes- and when all Cried out "we sail to death!" held firmly on Through storm and sunshine. In those furrowed lines, As on some faithful chart, might still be traced The weary voyaging of many years: That restless spirit pent in narrow bounds, Yet ever looking with unquiet eye Beyond old land-marks- with unwearied soul Still searching, prying into the Unknown, And hoarding richer sea-lore- till at last Possessed and haunted of one grand BeliefOne mighty Thought no wretchedness could lay. The weary interval- eighteen long years, Wandering from court to court - his Wondrous Tale Lost in half-heeding, dull, incredulous ears;
Page 187 187 The patient toil the honorable want Endured so nobly -in his threadbare coat, Mocked by the rabble- the half-uttered jeer - And the pert finger tapping on the head. May Heaven accord us patience - as to him. And now, a way-worn traveller, where, Rabida, Thy lonely convent overlooks the sea, (Soon to be furrowed by ten thousand keels,) He waits, preferring no immodest suitA little bread and water for his boy, O'ertasked with travel? then the welcome in, And the good friar - saints receive his soul! And now, (the audience gained,) at Salamanca, Before them all, a simple mariner, He stands, unawed by the solemnity Of gowns and caps - with courteous, grave de meanor, And in plain words, unfolding his high purpose. Embarked, and on the seas - at last! at last! The toil of a long life- a Deathless Name The undetermined fates of all to comeStaked on his prow -it is no little thing Will turn aside that soul, long resolute, (Though every heart grow faint, and every tongue Murmur in mutiny,) to hold its course Onward, still onward, through the pathless void, The lone untravelled wilderness of waves Onward! still onward! we shall find it yet!
Page 188 I88 And next, (0 sad and shameful sight!) exposed On the high deck of a returning bark, (Returning from that land so lately found!) A spectacle! those aged honored limbs Gyved like a felon's, while the hooting crowd Sent curses in her wake. But when arrived, Again exalted, favored of the crown, And courted by the noblest - who forgets, With his gray hairs uncovered, how he knelt Before his royal mistress, (that great heart, Nor insult, nor disgrace, nor chains could move, O'ercome with kinadness,) weeping like a child? Lastly, his most resigned Christian end; When, now aware of the last hour approaching, He laid the world, so long pursued, aside; Forgave his foes, and setting decently His house in order, with his latest breath Commended that great soul to Him who gave it; Who rarely hath given or received a greater. Thus loitering in the many-peopled Past, And haunted by old thoughts, the twilight shadows O'ertook me, still beside that resting-place Entranced in pleasant gloom, and loth to leave. Anon a train of dark-stoled priests swept in, And chaunted forth old hymns. Was it profane To deem their holy strain a requiem
Page 189 i89 O'er him, whose mighty ashes lay enshrined So near his Maker? but for whom, perchance, The sound of anthem and of chaunt sublime, And old Te Deum's solemn majesty, Had never echoed in the Western World. Along each vaulted aisle the sacred tones Floated, and swelled, and sank, and died away. So all departed- and among the rest, That spell upon my soul yet lingering, I went my way- and passing to our ship, Culled a few flowers, yet springing on the spot, Where, wearied with long travail o'er the deep, He landed, (so they tell,) and said the mass, Beneath a tall and goodly Ceiba-tree, But that is gone - and all will soon be gone.8 THE SPHINX. HEY glare - those stony eyes! That in the fierce sun-rays Showered from these burning skies, Through untold centuries Have kept their sleepless and unwinking gaze. Since what unnumbered year Hast thou kept watch and ward, I
Page 190 I9o And o'er the buried Land of Fear So grimly held thy guard? No faithless slumber snatching - Still couched in silence braveLike some fierce hound long watching Above her master's grave. No fabled Shape art thou! On that thought-freighted brow And in those smooth weird lineaments we find, Though traced all darkly, even now, The relics of a Mind: And gather dimly thence A vague, half-human sense The strange and sad Intelligence That sorrow leaves behind. Dost thou in anguish thus Still brood o'er CEdipus? And weave enigmas to mislead anew, And stultify the blind Dull heads of human kind, And inly make thy moan That,'mid the hated crew, Whom thou so long couldst vex, Bewilder, and perplexThou yet couldst find a subtler than thine own? Even now, methinks that those Dark, heavy lips, which close In such a stern repose,
Page 191 I9I Seem burdened with some Thought unsaid, And hoard within their portals dread Some fearful Secret there - Which to the listening earth She may not whisper forth Not even to the air! Of awful wonders hid In yon dread pyramid, The home of magic Fears; Of chambers vast and lonely, Watched by the Genii only, Who tend their Masters' long-forgotten biers; And treasures that have shone On cavern walls alone For thousand, thousand years. Those sullen orbs wouldst thou eclipse, And ope those massy, tomb-like lips, Many a riddle thou couldst solve Which all blindly men revolve. Would She but tell! She knows Of the old Pharaohs, Could count the Ptolemies' long line; Each mighty Myth's original hath seen, Apis, Anubis - Ghosts that haunt between The Bestial and Divine (Such, IHIe that sleeps in Philce - He that stands In gloom, unworshipped,'neath his rock-hewn fane
Page 192 I92 And They who, sitting on Memnonian sands, Cast their long shadows o'er the desert plain:) Hath marked Nitocris pass, And Ozymandias Deep-versed in many a dark Egyptian wile; The Hebrew Boy hath eyed Cold to the master's bride; And that Medusan stare hath frozen the smile Of Her all love and guile, For whom the Caesar sighed, And the World-Loser died The Darling of the Nile. THE BOOK. WRITTEN book before me lies. Therein I keep a record strange, An ever-darkening chronicle Of human Fate and Change. The list- not idly numbered o'er - Of those who, borne the threshold forth, Shall leave their footsteps never more Upon the sunny earth. Strange fellowship is witnessed there, Strange names are mingled, side by side
Page 193 T93 Traced coldly, or with reverent care, As, one by one, they died. The gentle ones, whose angel feet With mine, Life's dewy pathway trod - And they who, in the hurrying street, Returned a careless nod. The friend, whose trusty heart would cling To mine, alike in weal or woe - And next, the poor forgiven thing, That once they called my foe. And here is one, whose sunny head In auburn tresses oft I curled, And there, a Name that filled with dread The wonder-stricken world. Yet lighter than to number all Whom I have marked around me fade To count the withered leaves that fall In autumn's forest shade. Still, ever to my thoughtful eyes Some long-forgotten form will rise. Still I recall some buried face, That long hath lost each human trace. And one, who o'er each name did glance, (A pious, godly priest is he,) Saith "burn thy book - full soon, perchance, Thine own may added be! " 0 . 0 9 m
Page 194 a I94 And if it be, mine honest friend! Or now, or in life-weary age, Think'st thou no lesson I have gained No moral from its page? The Lovely-'mid the haunts of mirth How soon their gentle reign was o'er! The Great- how quickly from the earth They passed, and were no more! And gazing here I think, since Life, E'en at the longest, fades so soon, iVhy should we waste in care or strife The frail yet precious boon? No sermon thou didst ever preach, (And goodly homilies are thine!) Hath half the power my soul to reach, That dwells in each poor line. And thus, dear ghostly friend, the book, E'en at thy word, I will not burnBut more thereon will rather look, Some gentler text to learn. Some sad, yet far from gloomy thought - Some truthful lesson, pure and high - To help us live as live we ought, And teach us - how to die.
Page 195 J95 PHILIP THE FREED-MAN. T was a barren beach on Egypt's strand, And near the waves, where he had breathed his last, The form of one slain there by treachery Lay stripped and mangled. On each manly limb Somewhat of strength and beauty yet remained, Though war, and toil, and travel, and the lapse Of sixty years save one, had left their marks Traced visibly. But the imperial head, The close-curled locks, and grizzled beard were gone! Soon to be laid before the feet of one Who should receive with anguish, horror-struck, Giver and gift! -and, weeping, turn away. The ruffian task was ended -the base crowd - Had stared its vulgar fill- and they were gone,, The murderers and the parasites - all gone. But one yet lingered, and beside the dead, As the last footstep died away, he knelt, And laved its clotted wounds in the salt-seaComposed with care the violated frame - a
Page 196 i96 Doffed his own garment, and with reverent hands Covered the nakedness of those brave limbs. But for a pile -a few dry boughs of wood For him, before whose step forests had fallen, And cities blazed! - yet looking, sore perplexed, He spies the wreck of an old fishing-boat, Wasted by sun and rain - yet still enough For a poor body, naked, unentire. While yet he laid the ribs and pitchy planks In such array as might be, decently, For him, whose giant funeral pyramid All Rome had raised -(could he have died at Rome) - An old man came beside him - " Who art thou, That all alone dost tend with this last service Pompey the Great? "-He said, "I am his freed man." "Thou shalt not make this honor all thine own! Since fate affords it, suffer me to share Thy pious task - though I have undergone These many years of exile and misfortune, 'Twill be one solace to have aided thee In offering all that now remains to him, My old commander- and the greatest, noblest, That Rome hath ever borne!" They raised the body, And tenderly, as we move one in pain, Laid it upon the pile, in tears and silence.
Page 197 I97 And one, his friend - fi11 soon to follow him(Late shipped from Cyprus with Etesian gales,) Coasting along that desolate shore, beheld The smoke slow rising, and the funeral pyre Watched by a single form. " lVho then has ended His days, and leaves his bones upon this beach?" He said, and added, with a sigh, "Ah, Pompey! It may be thee!" THE NURSE OF NERO. HEN he, whose name for thousand years hath been But one word more for Crime and Cruelty, Beheld his life and power, both long abused, Draw near their end together -on each side Armies, and provinces, and kings revolting, A world against him- and the bitter draught, Which he to other lips so oft had held, Commended, with all justice, to his own - When, through the streets of million-peopled Rome, From door to door he went, from house to house, And none would shelter him 19 his aged nurse, (For Nero's self was suckled, those fierce lips Had drained sweet fountains - not from Agrippina,)
Page 198 I98 She, who had lulled those ominous slumbers, strove To give him comfort - all might yet be well - Others had been in greater straits than he. And when at last Death clutched him - meeter prey Those lank jaws never closed on - and dislodged From that polluted frame the hellish sprite That long had harbored there-when, scorpion-like, Ringed round with foes and hate, he sought his end With slow, unwilling hand 20 and grieving soreLess for his kingdom than his fiddlestick21Expired, (two daggers planted in his throat, And his eyes starting from his head- a terror!) And the foul corpse was hurried under-groundHers may have been the hand, the withered hand, That all unknown "long after decked his grave With spring and summer flowers." THE PORTRAIT. HOSE calm and sorrowful eyes! What mournful meaning lies Within their silent depths, O broken-hearted! Some cold and cruel care Still seems to linger thereSome trace of grief and anguish long departed.
Page 199 I99 Of tears unseen they tell, Of trials brooked full well, A spirit that might break, yet could not bend - , Of silent suffering borne 'Mid unrequited scornAnd wrongs endured in patience to the end. Oft at the silent hour, When the Unseen hath power, And forms of other worlds seem hovering near us - When flickering shades that fall Upon the darkened wall, Advance, and then retreat as though they fear us When, even as now, I seem Half in the Land of Dream, Its mournful dwellers dimly gliding round Methinks I can, almost, Discern thy hapless ghost, And hear its timid footstep press the ground. And thou, poor spirit, thou Perchance art near me now, And seekest, not in vain, some human kindness. Oh, if thou read'st my thought, Canst thou discover aught I Save love for thee- pity for mortal blindness? May'st thou be far from here, And in some happier sphere Have long forgotten all thy gloomy part;
Page 200 200 The love, the gentle mirth, Thou never knew'st on earth, Have fallen like sunshine on that wearied heart. Oh Love! what lovest thou? The wan and careworn brow - The faded cheek- the dark, despairing mind? Oh I these are not of Thee, Yet such would seem to be The traces thy sweet footsteps leave behind. DEPARTED. A VOICE that is hushed forever A heart in the dull, deep clay; Once wildly stirred at every word Thy cruel lips could say. And canst thou bury the Past, Like the dead, in its funeral pall? The cold, dark sneer, and the look severe Ha'st thou forgotten them all? All the departed one So sadly, sweetly bore - And how tears did rise in the gentle eyes That now can weep no more? 4t
Page 201 201 TO JOHN. "Speak, Ancient House, oh, think'st thou yet thereon?" GERMAN STUDENT-SONG. NCE more, old friend! -'tis many a day Since thus beside me thou didst standFor I have been a weary way Since last I took thy hand; And journeyed far, yet never known A face more friendly than thine own. By the tombstone of Memory We'll sit, as we were wont to do, And trace, like Old Mortality, Each fading line anew. Canst thou remember all our merry ways, That now are dead and gone? Methinks it was right pleasant in those days, My dear old crony, John! Once more together we will drink In mournful jollity, To vanished gladness,- yet, I think, Thy glass with mine did ever clink Right merrily! 9* i
Page 202 202 Aye, many a night, our vigil keeping far, We two did revel, answering cup for cup, Meanwhile the Meerschaum, or mild-wreathed cigar Curled sweetest incense up. Through the long night together how we read Old famous books - and pledged those wondrous men, Whose words yet thrill, like Voices from the Dead Come down to earth agen. Or pored upon the quaint and marvellous scrolls Of dreamy alchemist -or read the tales Of ancient travellers, and those brave souls, That spread their venturous sails For unknown lands -and sought some deep recess, Some old primeval forest, dark and green, Or waved farewell across the wilderness And never more were seen. What simple fare, what modest, cheap libation Could then content us- Ah! what merry quipsWhat genial thought - what apt, inspired quotation Sprang freely to our lips. At such high tide we pondered, argued deep Of Life, of Destiny, of Thought profound - Until like drowsy Wanderers, half asleep On the Enchanted Ground.
Page 203 203 And when I read thee once a marvellous Old tale in verse, (it was thyself that bid,) Yet somewhat of the longest Morpheus, Foul fall him - closed each lid. Thy lubbard head upon its shoulder fell But I forgive thee- those were pleasant nights, Noctes, Cceneque! ours, thou knowest well, No rude or Scythian rites. But the wine had a perfume that is gone, A sparkle bright it will not have againMethinks thine eye was all the brighter, John, Yet not more friendly, then. Still let us mingle, with a mournful pleasure, Hearts that not yet are touched by worldly frost, And brood, like misers, o'er our buried treasure Deep buried, yet not lost. In cheerful sadness -yet, when we remember How they are gone, who sat beside each hearth, Two ghosts, carousing in some ruined chamber, Could share no drearier mirth. 0
Page 204 204 THE PASSING-BELL. ARK how the bell doth toll, One- two- and threeLike thee, a bodiless soul, Soon all shall be. And wherefore should we mourn, That this dull frame Will to the dust return, From whence it came? Oft, though weary and old, It would not rest But struggles hard to hold The eternal guest. It loves the pleasant earth, From which'twas made; Still clings to care and mirth, Sunshine and shade. Yet in a little while, (Full well I wis,) How calmly we shall smile Upon all this!
Page 205 205 And looking down, perchance, May, half in mirth Yet half in pity, glance On this poor earth When Sorrows, one by one, Have all descendedWhen the last task is done, The last pang ended. And all these wondrous joys, These woful fears, Shall seem like children's toys, Like children's tears. OBED THE SKIPPER. AN ye remember, ye trusty two, Mates of my boyhood, so tried and true! That sweet spring morn when we hoisted sail To catch the breath of the southern galeAnd steered away in our slender bark, A hundred leagues o'er the ocean dark? For toil or for peril what cared we? The flask was full, and the gale blew free.
Page 206 206 When seas were striving hard to o'erwhelm, Well she minded her cunning helm. A steady eye on the flaw was cast, A steady hand held the tiller fast. The winds might whistle and rave their fillThe song and the tale were never still. The porpoise tumbled beneath our bow, Fin and tail the shark did show, And the gull and the petrel fluttered nigh, Through a stormy sea and a stormy sky. And, but for these, o'er the wide-spread sea, No living thing save the lonely three. And when night came down o'er the waters wide, We were lulled to sleep by the rocking tide. No bell we sounded - no watch we kept, But the lantern that lazily swung while we slept. Though the plank was hard, and the deck came nigh As the narrow couch where we all shall lie Never, I ween, on a downy bed, With curtains folded, and soft sheets spread, Could the midnight calm on our eyelids stream A sounder sleep or a sweeter dream. But now, all scattered far away, Each in a distant land, we stray. Hardly I know if in grief or mirth Ye are yet on the face of the sunny earth.
Page 207 207 Many a bright spring sun hath shone, Many a wintry blast hath blown - But the brave old bark wherein we tost Has left her bones on a far-off coast - And, since that dear mad cruise, have we Over land and over sea Voyaged far and wearily. Yet still, when the voice of the East is high, And the line-stonnrm lowers in a troubled sky, When the forest moans, till its heavy roar Sounds like the tide on a wild lee-shore My thoughts rove wandering far away To the breaking surf and the salt sea sprayA sail's hoarse flap in the wind I hear, And the roar of waves is loud in mine ear. Come around me now, companions dear, Who love old tales by the hearth to hearFor the night is gusty, and dark, and drear, And the moon hath told that a storm is near. Let the blast without raise its angriest shout, And howl in the chimney with sullen rout While I tell, as fairly as tell I may, A tale of the seas, and of times passed away. 'Twas a wild, rough day, when winds were high, And the autumn equinox drew nigh, Years dead and gone some thirty and three, A gallant ship was sailing the sea.
Page 208 208 'Tis a sight to look on, right fair and brave How proudly she rises from wave to wave! With her courses furled, as she ploughs along, And a double reef in her topsails strong. On her hull so black a row ye might mark Of teeth that can bite as well as barkGrinning full grimly on either side, For'twas war-time then o'er the ocean wide; And many a sail, both in channel and main, Roved o'er the waters for plunder and gain. On her privateering deck you might view A long-sided, keen-visaged Yankee crewFeatures of marvellous shape and size, Beet-like noses and fish-like eyes. There was Obed the Skipper, and Peleg the mate, And many a moe that I can't relate. But all, as they ply the goodly trade, Believe their eternal fortunes made. For many a prize they have sent to shore, And are keeping a sharp look-out for more. But who is he, of the boyish face? He looks like one of another race. With his light-curled hair, and cheek so fair, Well you had marvelled to find him there. Yet somewhat in him but half displayed, Showeth that of which men are made: A firm-wreathed lip, and an eye of pride As bright and blue as the seas they ride.
Page 209 209 And why hath he left the pleasant shore, For the gray salt deep, and its restless roar To rove with Obed on venture wild? That grim old man hath an only child. To his youthful heart she has long been dear, Long he has loved her, in hope and fear - Yet hardly knows why he dares aspire To win the love of her rude old sire. Playmates from childhood, their simple flame As yet, not even had found a name. His voice had failed as he said "good bye," And a tear was trembling in Zillah's eye, When his passionate arms were round her cast, And he took one kiss-'twas their first and last. Never again shall those lips be prest, Or that form be clasped to his loving breast. And well and boldly full long he strove To gain the surly old master's love. None like William aloft could hie, None like him could the wheel stand by. Never a man on her deck, in sooth, But loved the brave and the mirthful youth. Yet howsoever he dares or tries, Small grace hath he in the skipper's eyes. Or if he had, on a luckless day By an evil wind it was blown away. A week ago, they had hailed a bark Steering from India- the stout St. Mark. N
Page 210 210 Sooth to say,'twas a goodly craft, Laden full deeply fore and aft. Already in thought the greedy crew Are hauling her choicest stores to viewAlready are passing from hand to hand Silks of the East and golden sand, Teas and spices from China-land! The boat is lowered- in the stern-sheets His personage gruff the skipper seats. William enters too, at his word, And takes the helm as he steps on board. 'Twas night when they reached the stranger's side, But the moon shone high in her autumn pride, And her light came down so cold and keen The Man in the Moon could be almost seen. None with Obed mounted on deck But the boy who followed close at his beck. With courtesy grim the skippers meet, Grimly smile as they bow and greet. Long the parley, as fore and aft They walk the deck of the captive craft. Long in the cabin they make their stay, And when Obed cometh at last away, (In grave and in courteous wise they parted,) Nor locker was oped, nor hatch was started. Nor silk nor spice did the skipper bring, (He hath not brought us a cursed thing!) Save one stout chest-'twas a grievous loadIn his private cabin right snugly stowed.
Page 211 2II (lVhen the cruise was o'er, and the good ship lay Fast by the wharf in her native bay, Cook and steward long tugged and swore Or ever they got that chest on shore.) But what the wonder, and rage, and grief Of all on board, save their wily chief, When they saw the stranger loose every sail And glide away in the moonlight pale. While their own swift bark, hove to at her ease, Lay like a log on the rolling seas. Some tale he told them -it matters not - A letter of pass, and the Lord knows what! But from that hour, (it was hardly strange,) Hath fallen upon them a woful change. The skipper weareth a threatening mien, And a blush upon William's cheek is seen, (For none but William had seen the gold So slowly and grievously lugged from her hold). He marks the boy with an evil eye Fixed all sullenly and sly. Seldom he cometh on deck, and then 'Tis but to growl, and to haze the men. And on that day, with a sullen brow, And a heart of evil, he sat below. Full sorely he sighed, and slowly took From his cabin locker the Holye Booke. And now he is reading that pleasant part Where David, (a man of the Lord's own heart,)
Page 212 212 Bade that Uriah be left to die, When the strife by the leaguered wall rose high. He hath closed the Book - he hath laid it downAnd ta'en from his chest with a fretful frown A pocket-pistol, loaded and large Yet it killeth not at the first discharge. What ship is that steering up from the south? She carries a mighty bone in her mouth! At her peak is a cross of glittering red - And the pennon streams from her tall mast-head. Mark how she rolls! for the sea runs high, 'Tis flecked with foam like a mackerel sky. A scud from the south comes driving fast And wind* are raving through shroud and mast. Obed the skipper on deck hath come, And Ocean snuffeth the scent of rum. Pepper-and-salt the skipper wore Pepper-and-salt behind and before. Each button was big as a noddy's egg, And the row thereof did reach to his leg. It swelleth and tapereth o'er his thigh, Like the shad ye catch when the stream runs high. Seven times stalked he the length of her keel - Seven times hath he turned on his heel. At the stem and at the stern, Ever the skipper taketh a turn.
Page 213 2I3 A big-bellied watch in his fob doth lurk, He pulleth it out with a vicious jerk! Six bells are sounded- an hour hath past Since through the glass he sighted her last. The night is at hand - but she nears us fast! Bitter the words he spake, and brief' She gains," he muttered, "shake out that reef!" Ear-ring and reef-point loose are cast, And the topsail flaps on the quivering mast. As the halliards come home, to his startled men, "Loose the to'gallant!" he shouts again. 'Tis done- and she flies on the snowy sail, As a mighty bird spreads her wings to the gale. The mast yet stands, in the tempest's roar But it strains as a stick never strained before! The crew are staring in doubt and fear, And they stare yet wider the word to hear, Another hand must hurry aloft, And loose yon royal, they've furled so oft. He looked at his mates- they spoke not a word! He looked at the crew - not a hand was stirred! But an active step is heard at his side, And he meets an eye of daring and pride. And the devil within him softly said, * With a sneer, "Well, William! are you afraid?"
Page 214 214 No word he uttered - or low or loud - But sprang at once to the weather shroud. And o'er the ratlins he climbs amain, Through a squall that comes like a hurricane. He has gained the cross-trees - he mounts the yard - And the loosened canvas is flapping hard. A hail is heard from his eyrie high! A crash! she has parted her royal-tie I Far to leeward amid the storm Flew the slender spar and the slender form! Twenty feet to the boat have sprung! Twenty hands to the braces clung! Old Tom at the wheel lets her luff a wee, All ready to hear them sing out " hard-a-lee!" But a hard rough hand, uplifted apace, Hits old Tom in his honest face. And a voice of anger is heard to say "Keep fast that boat! - keep the ship awa)!" And this was all- save a single cry, That pierced each heart as the hull drove by, And a fair, pale face for an instant seen,, Ere the giant billow rose high between. But the last look on one we shall see no more, Is stamped far deeper than all before. In her pomip and pride the ship went by, And left him alone on the sea -to die.
Page 215 215 But if he sank in its soundless bed, When the first dark surf broke o'er his head, Or struggled long o'er his ocean-grave, Weaker and weaker, with wave on wave Will ne'er be known till that Day of Dread, The Day when the seas give up their dead! Rough Obed follows the seas no more; He hath built him a shingled house on the shore, Fairly chambered, and garnished well - Yet therein he loveth not long to dwell. He had faced the storm, when its wildest blast Like chaff was scattering canvas and mast. On the deck full bold he had stood, When the scuppers streamed, and the planks ran blood. But he cannot look on that fading eye,, That is dimmer daily, he well knows why; And the form that all slowly is wasting away, And the cheek growing paler, day by day. Where the sign of the Whale hangs creaking on high, He drinks like a fish- but he's always dry! Old Ephraim wonders what's come to pass, And shakes his head as he fills the glass. The by-standers whisper and stare to behold Close Obed pay over the good red gold. They ring it to catch the golden sound - Heft it, and turn it, and pass it round.
Page 216 i16 Full fairly it weighs, and'tis red to the gazeBut it looks yet redder to him who pays! But he eyes the change with a vacant air, And the empty glass with an empty stare. Nought he heeds what they look or say, And he mutters still, as he turns away, "They lie when they say I followed the seaAnd they lie when they say that a man follows me." The frost was hard in the old churchyard As the heart that hated a famished bard. Pickaxe and mattock, crow and spade, A long dark trench in the earth have madeAnd a narrow chest beside it is laid: Brightly polished and quaintly built, With its many corners, and handles gilt. But a piteous thing lies pillowed below, With its pale hands crossed on a breast of snow, And its frozen tresses but all are hid 'Neath that never more to be opened lid. 'Twas a cruel dwelling for one so fair, That cold, dark bed! but they left her thereWhere the shades fall saddest at twilight's close, And the long weeds wave when the night-wind blows Where the weeping willows their lean arms toss, And the stones are gray with a century's moss.
Page 217 217 JACK'S VISITOR. TIS a dull, flat common-a lonely moor, Where the grass is withered and scant and poor. In its soil so barren, swampy, and low, The very weeds have forgotten to grow. Poisoning the air and clouding the sky, The monster London croucheth hard by (All day long from her nostrils rolled Flames and smoke, like the giants of old)And the breath of her thousand fires comes forth To taint the air, when the wind is north. Beside it the brackish river runs, Burdened with ships of a thousand tons. Their black hulks float on the sluggish tide, Or rot at anchor in reaches wide. Robbers and murderers, half a score, Are hung in chains on the lonely shore; 22 Where the sun seems only to lend his light, To "fleer and mock" at the ghastly sight. But the earth was hoary with frost and snow, When here, in a house that is long laid low, I0
Page 218 218 On a winter night, in the century gone, Jack Ketch sat over his fire alone. Weary for he had been hard at workI know not whether on Hare or BurkeBut the noose on each neck had been deftly twined, And the bodies wavered in frost and wind. The fire was low, the lamp burnt dim, And the night seemed dreary, even to him. For the storm was abroad in its wildest glee, Rushing like mad over land and sea. Shook each chimney and steeple high, As the flap of its sullen wings flew by - A sound ever followed by woe and wail, Rending of roof and shivering of sail. Lord! how it blew! -'twas a night as wild As that, when a mother who bore her child Starving and shivering amid the storm, Had stolen a blanket to keep it warm. 'Twas a thought that well might his memory greet He had hanged her himself in Newgate-street! He thinks of her -and he thinks of those He has left without to the storms and snows: Of the chains that creak where they swing on high, And their rags that flap as the wind sweeps by. Was that a knock? no,'tis but the blast, That shakes his door as it hurries past.
Page 219 219 For the winds, like urchins wild in their play, Knock naughty "doubles," and scamper away. And the sleet and snow, and the hail and rain Are tapping hard at his window-pane. What ails the dog that he creeps aside Moaning and seeking a place to hide? He lifts his paws as if stepping on eggs, And his tail is hanging between his legs! Again, a knocking! but, as I live, 'Twas a knock that a dead-man's hand might give! The sound was hollow, and heavy, and hard As the oaken panel whereon it jarred. And hark! through the storm it cometh again, Like the knob of some testy old gentleman's cane I A hand without is trying the pin He growls in a surly tone "come in." The door on its hinges slowly creaks Like a wheel that hath not been oiled for weeks. It grates half open -a man comes through, And the wind, and the rain, and the snow come too. But the door behind him hlie closeth tight, As one who knew'twas a bitter night. And like one that dreadeth the dark and damp, Draws near to the fire, and the fading lamp. Oh Christ! can this be a thing of earth, That cowers and shivers upon the hearth? t
Page 220 220 And over the wretched spark that lingers, Spreads those frozen, skeleton fingers! With its hollow cheek, and its glassy eye, All ghastly and withered, shrunken and dry! Its ribs that hardly can hide the heart, And its blue thin lips drawn wide apart! So shrivelled, they cannot cover the teeth, That grin like a starving dog's beneath - And the arms all wasted and worn to the bone(Might move to pity a heart of stone.) A few bleached rags on its limbs remain, And rusted fragments of iron chain. Crouching low o'er the dying brands, It rubs and stretches its bony hands! Fain would he fly - but he sits there still - Hand nor foot can move at his will. Long o'er the ashes that shivering form Strove its lean withered hands to warm - But the air seemed death-like and icy chill, And the storm waxed louder and colder still. The watch-dog moans, and the lamp burns blue, And Jack on his brow feels a deadly dew. But his heart grew chiller than Iceland snows, When that fearful guest from the hearth arose, And with faltering footsteps across the room, Hath ta'en his way through the gathering gloom, And stayed his steps at the wainscot, where Jack's choicest gear was arrayed with care. ol
Page 221 221 On a long row of pegs, in order strung, The trophies and perquisites neatly hung, Picked up in his pleasant official pathFor a goodly wardrobe our hangman hath! There was many a garment great and small, Surtout and jacket and over-all, Kersey and beaver and fustian stout, Waistcoat, breeches, and roundabout. There was many a burly and bluff top-boot, Drawn from a highwayman's sturdy foot: And many a pump, thin-soled and spare, That had danced at least when it "danced i'the air." And the shivering wretch that gropes by the wall, Its clammy grasp hath laid on them all. One by one, they are fingered o'er, Till it taketh the coat that once it wore. It hath gotten its coat, -but there it stands Fumbling and feeling with trembling hands: Poking before and peeping behind"'Tis looking for summat it cannot find!" lhy does the hangman start and stare At the wasted knees, and the ankles bare? " He eyes those naked limbs with a groan The dead-man's small-clothes are on his own! And the dead-man, or his skeleton ghost, Turns a stony eye on his gasping host. A bony foot at his side doth stand - He feels the touch of a bony hand
Page 222 222 Cold as an icicle - nothing moreFor he fell in a fit on the old oak floor. The morning broke over dale and hill; The storm had passed, and the winds were still. The sun was streaming the casement through, And Jack, like a ship in a squall, "came to." Nipping and cold was the morning air - The garment was gone, and his legs were bare! Next day, where togs are offered to view, As good as new, (if you'll trust the Jew,) At the "Grand Emporium " in Monmouth-street, A fine display might the passenger meet! A goodly bargain hath Israel made - Well hath he plenished his stock in trade. In the Times, next morn, amid lands and rents, Moneys, mortgages, Three per Cents Watches stolen- purses mislaidChildren lost, and puppy-dogs strayed Wedding equipments -- winding sheetsCradles and coffins, and juggler's feats'Mid Patent Pills- Insurance on lives Wives wanting husbands, and husbands, wivesFalse teeth - false eyes - false bosoms - false hearts False heads - and other yet falser parts! With similar items, was noted down A "nice little residence, just out of town ""An airy location " - " convenient for trade "And a "pleasant neighborhood" too,'twas said!
Page 223 223 Just ere the Sheriff, in solemn state, To his dinner that evening sate - "Mr. Ketch," said the footman tall, "Vaits his vorship vithin the hall." A ghocking bad hat is doffed to the ground, And Jack bows low, as in duty bound; And tenders in form a resignation Of his useful, exalted -exalting station. The Sheriff hears with a heavy heart, Loth from his trusty friend to part, Who had served him long, and with right good-will'Twas not that the office was hard to fill! He yields the point, though with evil grace"There were gemmen enough who would like the place." And from that hour, on the Thames' foul shore, Jack Ketch in his haunts was seen no more. And oh, if the wisdom so dearly bought In the dark, dark lesson the past hath taught - If the slighted counsels of Love and Worth, And the tears of angels weeping for earth, And the prayers of the just were not all in vainWe ne'er should look on his like again!
Page 224 224 DIES IRA,. AY of wrath! that awful day, Earth in ashes sinks away! David and the Sibyl say. Oh! what terror will arise, When the Judge shall leave the skies, All to mark with searching eyes! And the trumpet's wondrous sound Through the nations under-ground Gathers all the throne around. Death shall shudder- Nature then Tremble, as she wakes agen, Answering to the Judge of men. Forth is brought the volume penned, Wherein all things are contained, Whence the world shall be arraigned. Therefore, when the Judge shall reign, All that's hidden shall be plain, Nought shall unavenged remain.
Page 225 225 WVhat then, wretched, shall I say, Or what intercessor pray, lVhen the just may scarce find stay. King of awful majesty! WVho thy chosen savest free, Save me, Fount of Piety! Jesus, thou hast not forgot Me, the cause of thy sad lot; In that day, oh, lose me not! Seeking me, thou satst in pain, On the cross for me hast lain: May such anguish not be vain! Judge of vengeance! righteous King! Gift of thy remission bring, Ere the day of reckoning. Like a wretch condemned I groan, Red with guilt my face is shown; Spare me kneeling at thy throne! Thou, who pitiedst Mary's grief, And didst hear the dying thief, Me hast also given relief. All unworthy is my prayer, But thou, good, in mercy spare Flames eternal from my share. IO* 0
Page 226 226 'Mid thy flock then let me stand, Parted from the goats' foul band, Placing me on thy right hand. When th' accursed, put to shame, Are consigned to fiercest flame, With thy Blessed call my name. Bowed and suppliant I bend, Crushed like dust my heart I rend; Take thou care, Lord! of mine end. TO HOU gavest me a fair red rose, Thou gavest me a violet - I thought them poor and pale to those In thy beloved features met. No rose of June could e'er eclipse The glory of those budding lips - And the flower that gathers its virgin hue From the gleam of the summer skies, Hath ne'er so lovely and tender a blue As beams from thine own sweet eyes.
Page 227 227 2EGRI SOMNIA. LAST night, in sad and troubled dreams, Again thy spirit crossed my sleepThat strange, unquiet slumber seems No other form to keep. Methought I wandered forth once more, Beneath the dying moon's pale face, And stood, as I have stood before, At the old trysting-place. Long watching - but thou cam'st at last, No longer proud- no longer cold - And those dear arms were round me cast, As kindly as of old. And that dear lip sought gently mine, In mild and tender accents breaking - Ah, ** * * * *! if that dream divine Had never known a waking! !
Page 228 228 ANACREONTIC. "It is worth the labor, saith Plotinus, to consider well of Love, whether it be a god or a divell, or passion of the minde, or partly god, partly divell, partly passion. * * * I * * Give me leave then (to refresh my muse a little and my weary readers) to expatiate in this delightsome field,'hoc deliciarum campo,' as Fonseca terms it, to season a surly discourse with a more pleasing aspersion of love-matters. * * * I I And there be those, without question, that are more willing to reade such toyes, then I am to write." - BURTON'S ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY. ROS, graceless Wanton! thou Wast mine earliest playfellow. Well I knew thee, roguish Elf! When an infant like thyself. And thou still must needs abide Clinging wilful to my side. Every other frolic mate Long has grown to man's estate - Other childish sports have past, Other toys aside are castOne alone could yet remain; 'Tis the vainest of the vain! Still this fond and foolish heart Must enact a childish part,
Page 229 229 And in Beauty's Presence still Feel its wonted boyish thrill. Chide thee- shun thee as I may, Thou hast ever had thy way; Many a subtle snare hast laidMany a wanton trick hast played. E'en at Learning's council sage, Thou hast perched upon the page, (Latin could not mar thy glee, Greek was never Greek to thee,) And when Wisdom should prevail, Told me many a roguish tale, Many a scene of vanished Love - Dicte's cave and Ida's grove, And the mountain fringed with fir, And the paths beloved of Her, Who the sleeping hunter eyed Couched on Latmos' shaggy side. Of each old enchanted spotTyrian mead- Egerian grot Each dim haunt, remembered yet, Where mortal with Immortal metDarksome glen and sunny gladeAnd all the pranks that Sylvan played. One kind turn I owe thee- one 'Kindly office thou hast done. Ne'er shall I forget the hour, When thy soft-persuading power Led my footsteps, roving wide, To the Sleeping Beauty's side.
Page 230 230 Wearied, like a child from play, Lightly slumbering, there she lay. Half a crime though it might seem To disturb so sweet a dreamYet, with tender, reverent soul, Softly to her side I stole, And the only means did take Such a slumber e'er should wake. Like a half-awakened child, Gently then she moved and smiled: With a soft and wondering glance - Such as Gyneth wore, perchance, When she oped her lovely eyes From the sleep of centuries. THE ADIEU. WEET Falsehoods, fare ye well! That may not longer dwell In this fond heart, dear paramours of Youth I A cold, unloving bride Is ever at my sideYet who so pure, so beautiful as Truth? Long hath she sought my side, And would not be denied,
Page 231 231 Till, all perforce, she won my spirit o'er And though her glances be But hard and stern to me, At every step I love her more and more. LONG AGO. W';HEN at eve I sit alone, Thinking on the Past and GoneWhile the clock, with drowsy finger, Marks how long the minutes lingerAnd the embers, dimly burning, Tell of Life to Dust returningThen my lonely chair around, With a quiet, mournful sound, With a murmur soft and low, Come the Ghosts of Long Ago. One by one, I count them o'er, Voices, that are heard no more, Tears, that loving cheeks have wet, Words, whose music lingers yet - Holy faces, pale and fair, Shadowy locks of waving hair - Happy sighs and whispers dear, Songs forgotten many a year, -
Page 232 232 Lips of dewy fragrance- eyes Brighter, bluer than the skiesOdors breathed from Paradise. And the gentle shadows glide Softly murmuring at my side, Till the long unfriended day, All forgotten, fades away. Thus, when I am all alone, Dreaming o'er the Past and Gone, All around me, sad and slow, Come the Ghosts of Long Ago.
Page 233 NOTES.
Page 234 I 0
Page 235 NO T ES. A PORTION of this book was issued, in the third year of the war, under the title of "Lyrics of a Day, or Newspaper Poetry, by a Volunteer in the U. S. Service," with the following Preface. NOTE TO THE ORIGINAL EDITION. "All the pieces in this volume have been printed heretofore -mostly in the daily papers. Some of them, rather trivial, are included because of their popularity. Indeed all those on war and polity seem to me but ephemeral expressionssuspiria, risus, elatio- of the great national Passion, in its several phases. They are spray, as it were, flung up by the strong Tide-Rip of Public Trouble, and present the Time more nearly, perhaps, than they do the writer. Penned, for the most part, on occasion, from day to day, (and often literally currente calamo,) they may well have admitted instances of diffuseness, contradiction, or repetition. On overlooking them, I find almost nothing, in substance, to omit or qualify. I have chanted of Treason and Slavery, sometimes fancifully or passionately, perhaps - always fairly, in effect, I hope. Let us give the latter of these Twin Gentlemen his due, whatever that may be. Can a slave-holder be a good man? Assuredly, to my thinking - especially where manumission is impracticable, by reason of law or popular violence. But, so far as I have seen, he is good in spite of his slave-holding, not because of it. Justice, humanity, regard to natural right - these can hardly 1.
Page 236 236 be credited to a status, the single condition of which is the allowed infraction of them. They belong to the man, not to the business. Thus much for those friends of mine who are, or have been slave-holders, and whose natural goodness could convert a relation so injurious in its essence, and often so horrible in its concomitants, into something at least not absolutely shocking the senses, nor quite precluding the interchange of kindly feeling. Thus much, too, for those of us, who, travelling or residing in slave-regions, have also certainly been amenable to whatever blame may attach to the naked fact of using slave-services. But how suddenly and thoroughly an ill usage may pervert the best feelings, is patent enough. What travellers were those, in Java, who, in their first morning's ride, had such a shock on seeing the abject prostration of all the natives they encountered? They soon got bravely over it, however - for, on their way horne, meeting a couple of Chineses, who did not fling themselves on their faces, they were vastly scandalized at the omission, and, as they tell us, exclaimed with one voice, "Confound the impudence of those fellows!" So easy is it to reconcile one's self to whatever may be held as "the thing," and so natural to think empirically. It is a system, and its results, average or extreme, not individuals, that I have dealt with. True, it is only of late that any American (or, for the matter of that, any European) could, with the least personal consistency, assail the system - always excepting a very few of the original emancipationists, who, from the first, grimly and grandly pretermitted all use of the products of slave-labor. For the rest of us, we have been art and part - accessaries before and after the fact. It is now these many years that we have hL4d an uncommonly large Candle (saving your presence) to the DeviL It is going out, and the snuff and smoke come under our noses pretty strongly - but he won't let us drop it, as long as a spark remains to light his work withal. Let us
Page 237 237 bear it as we may, and not make matters worse by trying to puff it alight again. 'Tis certain, we can hardly lay claim to the initiation of what has turned out such a sturdy contest of right against wrong. I dare say we should have gone on, in sacula, in the old way, had not Aphrosyne, that wild-eyed angel, (who, at the worst pinch, always does the will of the Gods,) descended to fire the Southern Heart. A sublime vis inertia three years ago, on a point of abstract right, was our earliest political merit. Since then, by sacrifices without precedent, in defence of the same, and by a readiness to share the burden of expiation and reform, the Nation, at last, has fairly earned the right to speak. Here is one of its voices- would it were nearer to ' The height of this great argument."' NOTE I. Page 2. The Flag-ship of Richard I. NOTE 4 Page 42. Chicama-uga. NOTE 5. Page 46. "Des habits bleus par la victoire uszs." NOTE 6. Page 5 I. "The finest thing I ever saw was a live American eagle, carried by the 8th Wisconsin, in the place of a flag. It would fly off over the enemy during the hottest of the fight, then would return and seat himself upon his pole, clap his pinions, shake his head and start again. Many and hearty were the cheers that arose from our lines as the old fellow would sail around, first to the right, then to the left, and always return
Page 238 238 to his post, regardless of the storm of leaden hail that was around him. Something seemed to tell us that that battle was to result in our favor, and when the order was given to charge, every man went at them with fixed bayonets, and the enemy scattered in all directions, leaving us in possession of the battle-field. " - Letter from an Illinois Volunteer. "We give below a short account of this noble bird, written by a staff officer of that regiment: - 'Allow me to introduce to you an object of interest, the "Old Eagle." He may be seen a little above the heads of the soldiers, close by the flag. This position of honor is never disallowed him. The perch upon which he sits is borne by a young man in Company C, to whom his safe keeping is exclusively intrusted.... He was taken from the nest, in Chippeway county, Wisconsin, July, i86I, by a Chippeway Indian, and by him presented to a farmer near by. He was subsequently bought by a citizen of Eau Claire, who presented him to Company C, 8th Regiment. The present excellent commander of that company, Capt. Wolf, gave him the name of "Abe," the name by which he is uniformly known among us, and to which only he deigns to answer. When the regiment marched into Camp Randall, the instant the men began to cheer, he spread his wings, and taking one of the small flags attached to his perch in his beak, he remained in that position until borne to the quarters of the late Col. Murphy. Ever since he was mustered into the service, his wings have been instantly outstretched on the occasion of any cheering by the regiment. To similar demonstrations in adjacent regiments he pays no regard..... He has been in all the battles of the regiment, equally exposed with the troops. At the battle of Farmington, May 9th, I862, the men were ordered to lay down. The instant they did so, it was impossible to keep him on his perch. He insisted on being protected as well as they, and when liberated, flattened himself on the ground, and there remained till the men arose, when with outspread wings
Page 239 239 he resumed his place of peril and held it to the close of the contest. 'At the battle of Corinth, the Rebel Gen. Price having discovered him, ordered his men to be sure and take him if they could not kill him, adding that he had rather get that bird than the whole brigade. Upon the whole he is a magnificent bird, and, I opine, will erelong spread his wings in triumph over other sections of now disloyal territory.' "Since this paragraph was written, our Eagle has, with his regiment, served out his term of enlistment, and at its close was presented to Governor Lewis of Wisconsin. He now rests on his laurels, living in apartments fitted up expressly for him in the State House Park at Madison. "Governor Lewis has consented to his coming to our Great Northwestern Sanitary Fair in May, to exhibit himself for the benefit of the sick and wounded soldiers,- his companions in arms."- -Ilstory of the Eagle of the 8th Wisconsin. NOTE 7. Page 56. " The storming party looked in vain for the support which had been promised it. The brigade which had been ordered to follow it hesitated. Finally, all but one of the I50 got discouraged, and sought the shelter of a deep ravine. William Trogden, a private of Company B, 8th Missouri, refused to retrace a single step. He was color-bearer of the storming party. When his comrades left him, he dug a hole in the ground with his bayonet, planted his flag-staff in it, within twenty yards of the enemy's rifle-pits, and sat down by the side of his banner, where he remained all day." -Report of the Assault on Vicksburg. NOTE 8. Page 80. In Zollicoffer's camp, it seems, were found quantities of children's clothes, plundered from loyal houses by the Rebels, and carefully preserved for the use of their own offspring.
Page 240 240 NOTE 9. Page 84 Somewhere in Tennessee, it appears, the bloodhounds trained to hunt slaves, by a very natural and easy conversion, came to be used for the business of catching fugitive Unionists; whereupon, our Western soldiers, (who are hard to please,) on occupying that neighborhood, took to killing them off- to the great disgust of all chivalrous and conservative hearts, and to the manifest damage and infraction of the Constitution. NOTE IO. Page 86. "It is the dirtiest chimney that has been on fire this century- the only way is to let it burn itself out." NOTE I I. Page 88. "How different," exclaims Mohammed, "is the Tree AlAccoub from the Abodes of Paradise! We have planted it for the torment of the wicked." This Tree, say the Islamite Doctors, had its root in hell, and bore for fruit devils' heads, filled with ashes. NOTE I12. Page 89. The Ceiba of San Antonio. There are others even more striking. NOTE 13. Page 122. "His temperament was cheerful. At table, the pleasures of which in moderation were his only relaxation, he was always animated and merry; and this jocoseness was partly natural, partly intentional. In the darkest hours of his country's trial, he affected a serenity he was far from feeling; so that his apparent gayety at momentous epochs was even censured by dullards, who could not comprehend its philosophy, nor applaud the flippancy of William the Silent. He went
Page 241 24I through life bearing the load of a people's sorrows with a smiling face."- Motley's Rise of the Dtztch Republic. Perhaps a lively national sense of humor is one of the surest exponents of advanced civilization. Certainly a grim sullenness and fierceness have been the leading traits of the Rebellion for Slavery; while Freedom, like a Brave at the stake, has gone through her long agony with a smile and a jest ever on her lips. NOTE 14.I Page I79. The charm of Solomon against elation in prosperity and dejection in adversity. NOTE 15. Page I83. "But thee, Cohtmbus, how can I but remember? but loue? but admire? Sweetly may those bones rest, sometimes the Pillars of that Temple where so diuine a spirit resided; which neyther want of former example, nor publike discouragements of domesticall or forren states, nor priuate insultations of prowd Spaniards, nor length of time (which usually deuoureth the best resolutions) nor the vnequal Plaines of huge vnknowne Seas, nor grassie fields in Neptune's lap, nor importunate whisperings, murmurings, threatenings of enraged companions, could daunt: O name Colon, worthy to be named vnto the world's end, which to the world's end hast conducted Colonics: or may I call thee Colombo for thy Douelike sirnplicitie and patience? the true Colonna or Pillar, whereon our knowledge of this new world is founded, the true Christopher which, with more than Giant-like force and fortitude hast carried Christ his name and religion, through vnknowne Seas, to vnknowne Lands." - Purchas his Pil grinmage. NOTE i 6. Page i 84. "Por Castilla y por Leon Nuevo mundo hallo Colon." I I p
Page 242 242 NOTE I7. Page I85. Wren in St. Paul's. ".... si monumentum queris, Circumspice." NOTE i8. Page I89. I believe there is no evidence that Columbus ever landed at the harbor of Havana- but the people of that city cling to the idea with a creditable pertinacity. NOTE 19. Page I97. Lives of the XII Caesars. NOTE 20. Page 198. Comparisons are proverbially odious! (would that Plutarch had thought so!) but we cannot refrain from remarking some singular coincidences in the lives of two of the worst of men. "Quam vellem nescire literas! "- said the grandson of the high-souled Germanicus, when the first death-warrant was presented to him. (Cortes said the same.) Robespierre, the -virtuous, the incorruptible, forsakes the chair of office rather than be accessary to the shedding of blood. In their last hours the resemblance becomes yet closer. Each, when all was over, attempted suicide, but so clumsily and unskilfully, that others were compelled to finish what their trembling hands had failed to accomplish. NOTE 21. Page 198. "He continually exclaimed,' Alas! what a musician is about to perish!' "- TACITUS. NOTE 22. Page 217. This tasteful and salutary practice is of ancient date, and would seem to have been originally founded on the idea that
Page 243 243 -(to. use the quaint words of Mr. Justice Blackstone) - "it is a comfortable sight to the relations and friends of the deceased." Further to promote this "comfortable" frame of mind, it was also customary for the relations and friends aforesaid to drag the criminal by a long rope to the place of execution, a process ingeniously and kindly devised to soothe their bereaved and excited feelings. The description which old Plowden (in his barbarous lawFrench) cites from Bromely, is too curious to be omitted. ".... quaunt le felon futit troue culpable en appel de murder, que le auncyant usage foyt, que touts ceux del sanke (sang) cesty que fuyt murder traheront le felon per longe corde al execution, quel use fuit foundue sur le perd q tout le sank auoit pur le murder del un de eux, et pur lour reuengement, et le amour que ils auoyent a luy tue, ceo fuit use." - II HENRY 4, 12. THE END. Cambridge: Stereotyped and Printed by Welcl, Bigelow, & Co. .UNIV. -O' MICHIGAN,' ~ U 1. a 1912
Page 244 I