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.

A cheering picture.  It is good
  To look upon a Chief like this,
In whom the spirit moulds the form. 
  Here favoring Nature, oft remiss,
With eagle mien expressive has endued
  A man to kindle strains that warm.

Trace back his lineage, and his sires,
  Yeoman or noble, you shall find
Enrolled with men of Agincourt,
  Heroes who shared great Harry’s mind. 
Down to us come the knightly Norman fires,
  And front the Templars bore.

Nothing can lift the heart of man
  Like manhood in a fellow-man. 
The thought of heaven’s great King afar
  But humbles us—­too weak to scan;
But manly greatness men can span,
  And feel the bonds that draw.

The Swamp Angel.[10]

There is a coal-black Angel
  With a thick Afric lip,
And he dwells (like the hunted and harried)
  In a swamp where the green frogs dip. 
But his face is against a City
  Which is over a bay of the sea,
And he breathes with a breath that is blastment,
  And dooms by a far decree.

By night there is fear in the City,
  Through the darkness a star soareth on;
There’s a scream that screams up to the zenith,
  Then the poise of a meteor lone—­
Lighting far the pale f right of the fac es,
  And downward the coming is seen;
Then the rush, and the burst, and the havoc,
  And wails and shrieks between.

It comes like the thief in the gloaming;
  It comes, and none may foretell
The place of the coming—­the glaring;
  They live in a sleepless spell
That wizens, and withers, and whitens;
  It ages the young, and the bloom
Of the maiden is ashes of roses—­
  The Swamp Angel broods in his gloom.

Swift is his messengers’ going,
  But slowly he saps their halls,
As if by delay deluding. 
  They move from their crumbling walls
Farther and farther away;
  But the Angel sends after and after,
By night with the flame of his ray—­
  By night with the voice of his screaming—­
Sends after them, stone by stone,
  And farther walls fall, farther portals,
And weed follows weed through the Town.

Is this the proud City? the scorner
  Which never would yield the ground? 
Which mocked at the coal-black Angel? 
  The cup of despair goes round. 
Vainly she calls upon Michael
  (The white man’s seraph was he),
For Michael has fled from his tower
  To the Angel over the sea.

Who weeps for the woeful City
  Let him weep for our guilty kind;
Who joys at her wild despairing—­
  Christ, the Forgiver, convert his mind.

The Battle for the Bay.  (August, 1864.)

O mystery of noble hearts,
  To whom mysterious seas have been
In midnight watches, lonely calm and storm,
    A stern, sad disciple,
And rooted out the false and vain,
  And chastened them to aptness for
  Devotion and the deeds of war,
And death which smiles and cheers in spite of pain.

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