The summit-cannon plunge their flame
Sheer down the primal wall,
But up and up each linking troop
In stretching festoons crawl—
Nor fire a shot. Such men appall
The foe, though brave. He, from the brink,
Looks far along the breadth of slope,
And sees two miles of dark dots creep,
And knows they mean the cope.
He sees them creep. Yet here and there
Half hid ’mid leafless groves they go;
As men who ply through traceries high
Of turreted marbles show—
So dwindle these to eyes below.
But fronting shot and flanking shell
Sliver and rive the inwoven ways;
High tops of oaks and high hearts fall,
But never the climbing stays.
From right to left, from left to right
They roll the rallying cheer—
Vie with each other, brother with brother,
Who shall the first appear—
What color-bearer with colors clear
In sharp relief, like sky-drawn Grant,
Whose cigar must now be near the stump—
While in solicitude his back
Heap slowly to a hump.
Near and more near; till now the flags
Run like a catching flame;
And one flares highest, to peril nighest—
He means to make a name:
Salvos! they give him his fame.
The staff is caught, and next the rush,
And then the leap where death has led;
Flag answered flag along the crest,
And swarms of rebels fled.
But some who gained the envied Alp,
And—eager, ardent, earnest there—
Dropped into Death’s wide-open arms,
Quelled on the wing like eagles struck in air—
Forever they slumber young and fair,
The smile upon them as they died;
Their end attained, that end a height:
Life was to these a dream fulfilled,
And death a starry night.
Like snows the camps on southern hills
Lay all the winter long,
Our levies there in patience stood—
They stood in patience strong.
On fronting slopes gleamed other camps
Where faith as firmly clung:
Ah, froward king! so brave miss—
The zealots of the Wrong.
this strife of brothers
(God, hear their country call),
However it be, whatever betide,
Let not the just one fall.
Through the pointed glass our soldiers saw
The base-ball bounding sent;
They could have joined them in their sport
But for the vale’s deep rent.
And others turned the reddish soil,
Like diggers of graves they bent:
The reddish soil and tranching toil
the Fathers feel mistrust?
Can no final good be wrought?
Over and over, again and again
Must the fight for the Right be fought?