John Marr and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 86 pages of information about John Marr and Other Poems.

One noonday, at my window in the town,
  I saw a sight—­saddest that eyes can see—­
  Young soldiers marching lustily
      Unto the wars,
With fifes, and flags in mottoed pageantry;
  While all the porches, walks, and doors
Were rich with ladies cheering royally.

They moved like Juny morning on the wave,
  Their hearts were fresh as clover in its prime
  (It was the breezy summer time),
      Life throbbed so strong,
How should they dream that Death in a rosy
  Would come to thin their shining throng? 
Youth feels immortal, like the gods sublime.

Weeks passed; and at my window, leaving
  By night I mused, of easeful sleep bereft,
  On those ’brave boys (Ah War! thy theft);
      Some marching feet
Found pause at last by cliffs Potomac cleft;
  Wakeful I mused, while in the street
Far footfalls died away till none were left.

An Old Sailor’s Lament
December, 1861

I have a feeling for those ships,
  Each worn and ancient one,
With great bluff bows, and broad in the beam: 
  Ay, it was unkindly done. 
      But so they serve the Obsolete—­
      Even so, Stone Fleet!

You’ll say I’m doting; do you think
  I scudded round the Horn in one—­
The Tenedos, a glorious
  Good old craft as ever run—­
      Sunk (how all unmeet!)
      With the Old Stone Fleet.

An India ship of fame was she,
  Spices and shawls and fans she bore;
A whaler when the wrinkles came—­
  Turned off! till, spent and poor,
      Her bones were sold (escheat)! 
      Ah!  Stone Fleet.

Four were erst patrician keels
  (Names attest what families be),
The Kensington, and Richmond too,
  Leonidas, and Lee
      But now they have their seat
      With the Old Stone Fleet.

To scuttle them—­a pirate deed—­
  Sack them, and dismast;
They sunk so slow, they died so hard,
  But gurgling dropped at last. 
      Their ghosts in gales repeat
      Woe’s us, Stone Fleet!

And all for naught.  The waters pass—­
  Currents will have their way;
Nature is nobody’s ally; ’tis well;
  The harbor is bettered—­will stay. 
      A failure, and complete,
      Was your Old Stone Fleet.


Supposed to have been suggested to an Englishman of the old order by the fight of the Monitor and Merrimac

The gloomy hulls in armor grim,
  Like clouds o’er moors have met,
And prove that oak, and iron, and man
  Are tough in fibre yet.

But Splendors wane.  The sea-fight yields
  No front of old display;
The garniture, emblazonment,
  And heraldry all decay.

Towering afar in parting light,
  The fleets like Albion’s forelands shine—­
The full-sailed fleets, the shrouded show
  Of Ships-of-the-Line.

Project Gutenberg
John Marr and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook