Poems of the War

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Ticknor and Fields, 1864 - Civil war - 202 pages
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Page 168 - Close his eyes; his work is done! What to him is friend or foeman, Rise of moon, or set of sun, Hand of man, or kiss of woman? Lay him low, lay him low. In the clover or the snow I What cares he? he cannot know: Lay him low...
Page 99 - DARK as the clouds of even, Ranked in the western heaven, Waiting the breath that lifts All the dread mass, and drifts Tempest and falling brand Over a ruined land ; — So still and orderly, Arm to arm, knee to knee, Waiting the great event, Stands the Black Regiment. Down the long dusky line Teeth gleam and eyeballs shine ; And the bright bayonet, Bristling and firmly set, Flashed with a purpose grand, Long ere the sharp command Of the fierce rolling drum Told them their time had come, Told them...
Page 58 - It did our sore hearts good to hear The song our pivot sang, As rushing on from wave to wave The whirring bomb-shell sprang. Brave Randall leaped upon the gun, And waved his cap in sport; "Well done ! well aimed ! I saw that shell Go through an open port...
Page 54 - And round her leaped and danced ; Or when against her dusky hull We struck a fair, full blow, The mighty, solid iron globes Were crumbled up like snow. On, on, with fast increasing speed, The silent monster came, Though all our starboard battery Was one long line of flame. She heeded not ; no...
Page 59 - It was our last, our deadliest shot ; The deck was overflown ; The poor ship staggered, lurched to port, And gave a living groan. Down, down, as headlong through the waves Our gallant vessel rushed ; A thousand gurgling watery sounds Around my senses gushed. Then I remember little more ; One look to heaven I gave, Where, like an angel's wing, I saw Our spotless ensign wave.
Page 81 - ... from the snow to the sun ? Crippled and leaking she entered the battle, Sinking and burning she fought through the fray, Crushed were her sides, and the waves ran across her, Ere, like a death-wounded lion at bay, ; Sternly she closed in the last fatal grapple, Then in her triumph moved grandly away. Five of the rebels, like satellites round her, Burned in her orbit of splendor and fear ; One, like the Pleiad of mystical story, Shot, terror-stricken, beyond her dread sphere. We who are waiting...
Page 102 - Leaping with open hands, Down they tear man and horse, Down in their awful course ; Trampling with bloody heel Over the crashing steel, All their eyes forward bent, Rushed the black regiment. "Freedom...
Page 102 - tis heard, Not a mere party shout; They gave their spirits out, Trusted the end to God, And on the gory sod Rolled in triumphant blood; Glad to strike one free blow, Whether for weal or woe; Glad to breathe one free breath, Though on the lips of death; Praying — alas! in vain! — That they might fall again, So they could once more see That burst to liberty! This was what " freedom
Page 86 - And many a brave, stout fellow, Who sprang in the boats with mirth, Ere they made that fatal crossing Was a load of lifeless earth, And many a brave, stout fellow, Whose limbs with strength were rife.
Page 52 - Remember, boys, this flag of ours Has seldom left its place; And where it falls, the deck it strikes Is covered with disgrace. "I ask but this: or sink or swim, Or live or nobly die. My last sight upon earth may be To see that ensign fly!" Meanwhile the shapeless iron mass Came moving o'er the wave. As gloomy as a passing hearse, As silent as the grave. Her ports were closed, from stem to stern No sign of life appeared. We wondered, questioned, strained our eyes, Joked, — everything but feared.

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