« EelmineJätka »
Devote thy memory to scorn and shame,
And scoff at the pale, powerless thing thou art. And they who ruled in thine imperial name,
Subdued, and standing sullenly apart, Scowl at the hands that overthrew thy reign, And shattered at a blow the prisoner's chain. Well was thy doom deserved; thou didst not spare
Life's tenderest ties, but cruelly didst part
Husband and wife, and from the mother's heart Didst wrest her children, deaf to shriek and prayer;
Thy inner lair became
The haunt of guilty shame; Thy lash dropped blood; the murderer, at thy side, Showed his red hands, nor feared the vengeance
due. Thou didst sow earth with crimes, and, far and wide,
A harvest of uncounted miseries grew,
With hateful memories of the elder time,
With many a wasting plague, and nameless crime, And bloody war that thinned the human race;
With the Black Death, whose way
Through wailing cities lay,
The Pyramids, and cruel creeds that taught
Death at the stake to those that held them not.
I see the better years that hasten by
Carry thee back into that shadowy past,
Where, in the dusty spaces, void and vast, The graves of those whom thou hast murdered lie.
The slave-pen, through whose door
Thy victims pass no more,
At which the slave was sold; while at thy feet Scourges and engines of restraint and pain
Molder and rust by thine eternal seat. There, mid the symbols that proclaim thy crimes, Dwell thou, a warning to the coming times.
CAVALRY CROSSING A FORD
BY WALT WHITMAN
A line in long array where they wind betwixt green
islands, They take a serpentine course, their arms flash in the
sun,-hark to the musical clank, Behold the silvery river, in it the splashing horses
loitering stop to drink, Behold the brown-faced
person, a picture, the negligent rest on the saddles, Some emerge on the opposite bank, others are just en
tering the ford—while, Scarlet and blue and snowy white, The guidon flags flutter gayly in the wind.
BIVOUAC ON A MOUNTAIN SIDE
BY WALT WHITMAN
I see before me now a traveling army halting,
orchards of summer, Behind, the terraced sides of a mountain, abrupt, in
places rising high, Broken, with rocks, with clinging cedars, with tall
shapes dingily seen, The numerous camp-fires scattered near and far, some
away up on the mountain, The shadowy forms of men and horses, looming, large
sized, flickering, And over all the sky—the sky! far, far out of reach,
studded, breaking out, the eternal stars.
FROM “THE RIVER-FIGHT”
BY HENRY HOWARD BROWNELL
Would you hear of the River-Fight?
God's stars looked down on all,
Sailed the Great Admiral.
On our high poop-deck he stood,
And round him ranged the men
Of manhood, once and again, -
Bronzed in battle and wreck:
Thornton fought the deck.
And I mind me of more than they,
Of the youthful, steadfast ones,
That have shown them worthy sons
Watson stood by his guns.
What thought our Admiral then,
(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-sheer were dyed with blood,
'Tis half a hundred years, Half a hundred years to-day!
Who could fail with him?
Not a pulse but beat the higher!
There had you seen, by the starlight dim,
The Flag is going under fire!
The Hartford is going under fire!
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 through, Till, as we hove in view,
Back echoed Philip! ah, then
How they sprung, in the dim night haze,
Kept every muscle ablaze!
Brought up on the waterways!
First, as we fired at their flash,
'Twas lightning and black eclipse, With a bellowing roll and crash; But soon, upon either bow,
What with forts, and fire-rafts, and ships,