Home, home—his heart is full of it;
But home he never shall see,
Even should he stand upon the spot:
’Tis gone!—where his brothers be.
The cypress-moss from tree to tree
Hangs in his Southern land;
As weird, from thought to thought of his
Run memories hand in hand.
And so he lingers—lingers on
In the City of the Foe—
His cousins and his countrymen
Who see him listless go.
“FORMERLY A SLAVE”
An idealized Portrait, by E. Vedder, in the Spring
Exhibition of the National Academy, 1865
The sufferance of her race is shown,
And retrospect of life,
Which now too late deliverance dawns upon;
Yet is she not at strife.
Her children’s children they shall know
The good withheld from her;
And so her reverie takes prophetic cheer—
In spirit she sees the stir.
Far down the depth of thousand years,
And marks the revel shine;
Her dusky face is lit with sober light,
Sibylline, yet benign.
Youth is the time when hearts are large,
And stirring wars
Appeal to the spirit which appeals in turn
To the blade it draws.
If woman incite, and duty show
(Though made the mask of Cain),
Or whether it be Truth’s sacred cause,
Who can aloof remain
That shares youth’s ardor, uncooled by the
Of wisdom or sordid gain?
The liberal arts and nurture sweet
Which give his gentleness to man—
Train him to honor, lend him grace
Through bright examples meet—
That culture which makes never wan
With underminings deep, but holds
The surface still, its fitting place,
And so gives sunniness to the face
And bravery to the heart; what troops
Of generous boys in happiness thus bred—
Saturnians through life’s Tempe led,
Went from the North and came from the
With golden mottoes in the mouth,
To lie down midway on a bloody bed.
Woe for the homes of the North,
And woe for the seats of the South:
All who felt life’s spring in prime,
And were swept by the wind of their place and
All lavish hearts, on whichever side,
Of birth urbane or courage high,
Armed them for the stirring wars—
Armed them—some to die.
Apollo-like in pride.
Each would slay his Python—caught
The maxims in his temple taught—
Aflame with sympathies whose blaze
Perforce enwrapped him—social laws,
Friendship and kin, and by-gone days—
Vows, kisses—every heart unmoors,
And launches into the seas of wars.
What could they else—North or South?
Each went forth with blessings given
By priests and mothers in the name of Heaven;
And honor in both was chief.
Warred one for Right, and one for Wrong?