Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 137 pages of information about Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War.

  Ah God! may Time with happy haste
  Bring wail and triumph to a waste,
    And war be done;
  The battle flag-staff fall athwart
  The curs’d ravine, and wither; naught
    Be left of trench or gun;
  The bastion, let it ebb away,
  Washed with the river bed; and Day
    In vain seek Donelson.

The Cumberland.  (March, 1862.)

Some names there are of telling sound,
  Whose voweled syllables free
Are pledge that they shall ever live renowned;
      Such seem to be
A Frigate’s name (by present glory spanned)—­
      The Cumberland.

Sounding name as ere was sung,
Flowing, rolling on the tongue—­
Cumberland!  Cumberland!

She warred and sunk.  There’s no denying
  That she was ended—­quelled;
And yet her flag above her fate is flying,
      As when it swelled
Unswallowed by the swallowing sea:  so grand—­
      The Cumberland.

Goodly name as ere was sung,
Roundly rolling on the tongue—­
Cumberland!  Cumberland!

What need to tell how she was fought—­
  The sinking flaming gun—­
The gunner leaping out the port—­
      Washed back, undone! 
Her dead unconquerably manned
      The Cumberland.

Noble name as ere was sung,
Slowly roll it on the tongue—­
Cumberland!  Cumberland!

Long as hearts shall share the flame
  Which burned in that brave crew,
Her fame shall live—­outlive the victor’s name;
      For this is due. 
Your flag and flag-staff shall in story stand—­

Sounding name as ere was sung,
Long they’ll roll it on the tongue—­
Cumberland!  Cumberland!

In the Turret.  (March, 1862.)

Your honest heart of duty, Worden,
  So helped you that in fame you dwell;
You bore the first iron battle’s burden
  Sealed as in a diving-bell. 
Alcides, groping into haunted hell
To bring forth King Admetus’ bride,
Braved naught more vaguely direful and untried. 
  What poet shall uplift his charm,
Bold Sailor, to your height of daring,
  And interblend therewith the calm,
And build a goodly style upon your bearing.

Escaped the gale of outer ocean—­
  Cribbed in a craft which like a log
Was washed by every billow’s motion—­
  By night you heard of Og
The huge; nor felt your courage clog
At tokens of his onset grim: 
You marked the sunk ship’s flag-staff slim,
  Lit by her burning sister’s heart;
You marked, and mused:  “Day brings the trial: 
  Then be it proved if I have part
With men whose manhood never took denial.”

A prayer went up—­a champion’s.  Morning
  Beheld you in the Turret walled
by adamant, where a spirit forewarning
  And all-deriding called: 
“Man, darest thou—­desperate, unappalled—­
Be first to lock thee in the armored tower? 
I have thee now; and what the battle-hour
  To me shall bring—­heed well—­thou’lt share;
This plot-work, planned to be the foeman’s terror,
  To thee may prove a goblin-snare;
Its very strength and cunning—­monstrous error!”

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Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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