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Tbe Burial of Latane

83

A brother bore his body from the field,
And gave it unto strangers' hands, that closed
The calm blue eyes, on earth forever sealed,
And tenderly the slender limbs composed :
Strangers, yet sisters, who, with Mary's love,
Sat by the open tomb, and, weeping, looked above.

A little child strewed roses on his bier--
Pale roses, not more stainless than his soul,
Nor yet more fragrant than his life sincere,
That blossomed with good actions—brief, but whole;
The aged matron and the faithful slave
Approached with reverent feet the hero's lowly grave.

No man of God might say the burial rite
Above the “rebel”-thus declared the foe
That blanched before him in the deadly fight;
But woman's voice, with accents soft and low,
Trembling with pity-touched with pathos—read
Over his hallowed dust the ritual for the dead.

"'T is sown in weakness, it is raised in power !
Softly the promise floated on the air,
While the low breathings of the sunset hour
Came back responsive to the mourner's prayer.
Gently they laid him underneath the sod,
And left him with his fame, his country, and his God !

Let us not weep for bim, whose deeds endure !
So young, so brave, so beautiful! He died
As he had wished to die ; the past is sure ;
Whatever yet of sorrow may betide
Those who still linger by the stormy shore,
Change cannot harm him now, nor fortune touch him

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[This poem was written at a time when the impatience of the Northern people with the delay of McClellan to make use of the means so lavishly provided for him, was scarcely to be restrained. For many months McClellan had been in command of a vast army, perfectly equipped and thoroughly disciplined, yet month after month went by with nothing done and nothing attempted. The discontent of the people found much angrier expression than was given to it in these stanzas, but this is one of the best metrical protests that appeared.-EDITOR.]

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HAT are you waiting for, George, I pray ?

To scour your cross-belts with fresh pipe-clay ?
To burnish your buttons, to brighten your guns ;
Or wait you for May-day and warm-spring suns ?
Are you blowing your fingers because they are cold,
Or catching your breath ere you take a hold ?
Is the mud knee-deep in valley and gorge ?
What are you waiting for, tardy George ?

Want you a thousand more cannon made,
To add to the thousand now arrayed ?
Want you more men, more money to pay ?
Are not two millions enough per day?
Wait you for gold and credit to go,
Before we shall see your martial show;
Till Treasury Notes will not pay to forge ?
What are you waiting for, tardy George?

Are you waiting for your hair to turn,
Your heart to sosten, your bowels to yearn
A little more toward “our Southern friends,"
As at home and abroad they work their ends?
“Our Southern friends !” whom you hold so dear
That you do no harm and give no fear,
As you tenderly take them by the gorge-
What are you waiting for, tardy George ?

Now that you've marshalled your whole com

ommand, Planned what you would, and changed what you planned; Practised with shot and practised with shell, Know to a hair where every one fell, Made signs by day and signals by night; Was it all done to keep out of a fight? Is the whole matter too heavy a charge ? What are you waiting for, tardy George?

Shall we have more speeches, more reviews?
Or are you waiting to hear the news;

Tardy George

87

To hold up your hands in mute surprise,
When France and England shall “recognize" ?
Are you too grand to fight traitors small ?
Must you have a nation to cope withal ?
Well, hammer the anvil and blow the forge-
You 'll soon have a dozen, tardy George.

Suppose for a moment, George, my friend-
Just for a moment—you condescend
To use the means that are in your hands,
The eager muskets and guns and brands ;
Take one bold step on the Southern sod,
And leave the issue to watchful God !
For now the nation raises its gorge,
Waiting and watching you, tardy George.

I should not much wonder, George, my boy,
If Stanton get in his head a toy,
And some fine morning, ere you are out,
He send you all “ to the right about ”.
You and Jomini, and all the crew
Who think that war is nothing to do
But to drill and cipher, and hammer and forge-

What are you waiting for, tardy George?
January, 1862.

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