Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“
[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

[Passages from the poem to be read before the Society of the Army of the Potomac, at

Gettysburg, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the battle, July 3, 1888.]

[ocr errors][merged small]

ONCE more the sun deploys its rays.
Third in the trilogy of battle-days,

The awful Friday comes :

A day of dread,
That should have moved with slow, averted head

And muffled feet,
Knowing what streams of pure blood shed,
What broken hearts and wounded lives must meet

Its pitiless tread.
At dawn, like monster mastiffs baying,
Federal cannon with a din affraying

Hailed the old Stonewall brigade,
That eagerly and undismayed
Charged, and slowly was repelled
After four hours' bitter fighting,
Forth and back, with bayonets biting;
Where, in years to come, the wood-
Flayed and pierced by bullets—stood,
Its trees all wasted, withered, gray
Like marshalled skeletons, to mark
The place of combat, night and day,
With presence grimly still and stark.
Then there's a lull: the troops are spelled :
No sound of guns or drums

Disturbs the air:
Only the insect-chorus faintly hums,

Chirping around the dull yet sleepless dead,

Scattered or fallen in heaps and wild outspread ;
Forgotten fragments left in hurried flight;
Forms that, a few hours since, were human creatures,

Now blasted of their features,

Or stamped with blank despair ;
VOL. IV.-13

Or with dumb faces smiling as for gladness,

But stricken with utter blight
Of motionless, inert, and hopeless sadness.
Fear you the naked horrors of a war?
Then cherish peace, and take up arms no more ;

For if you fight you must
Behold your brothers' dust
Dishonored and ground down

And mixed with blood and powder,
To write the annals of renown

That make a nation prouder !

II.

All is quiet till one o'clock :
Then the hundred and fifty guns,
Metal loaded with metal in tons,
Massed by Lee, send out their shock:

And, with a movement magnificent,

Pickett, the golden-haired leader,
Thousands and thousands flings onward, as if he sent

Merely a meek interceder.
Steadily sure his division advances,
Gay as the light on its weapons that dances.

Agonized screams of the shell

The doom that it carries foretell :
Rifle-balls whistle like sea-birds singing ;
And limbs are shred and souls set winging;
But Pickett's soldiers never waver.
Show me in all the world anything braver

Than the bold sweep of his fearless battalions
Three half-miles over ground unsheltered,
Up to the cannon, where regiments weltered

Prone in the batteries' blast that raked
Swaths of men and, flamed-tongued, drank
Their blood with fiery thirst unslaked !

Armistead, Kemper and Pettigrew
Rush on the Union men, rank against rank;
Planting their battle-flags high on the crest.
Pause not the warriors, nor dream they of rest,

Till they fall with enemies' guns at the breast,
And the shriek in their ears of the wounded artillery stallions !

So Pickett charged, a man indued
With knightly power to lead a multitude
And bring to fame the scarred, surviving few.

The Ridge was wreathed with angry fire,

As flames rise ro d a martyr's stake:
Brave men were offered on that pyre,

Who perished for our dear land's sake.
Far up in heaven the gray clouds flew,
And mingled with the deathless blue;
While here, below, the blue and gray

Melted minglingly away,
Mirroring heaven, to make another day.
And we who are Americans, we pray

The splendor of strength that Gettysburg knew May light the long generations with glorious ray,

And keep us undyingly true!

III.

(REQUIEM.)
Dear are the dead we weep for ;

Dear are the strong hearts broken,
Whose memory still we keep for

Our help and hope, a token
Of sacred thought too deep for

The words that leave it unspoken.
All that we know of fairest

All that we feel of meetest,
Here we bring for the rarest

Doers, whose souls rose fleetest
And in their homes of air rest,

Ranked with the truest and sweetest.
Days with fiery-hearted, bold advances ;

Nights in dim and shadowy, swift retreat ;
Rains that rush with bright, embattled lances

Thunder, booming round your stirless feet;
Winds that set the orchard with sweet fancies

All abloom, or ripple the ripening wheat ;
Moonlight, starlight, on your mute graves falling;

Dew, distilled as tears unbidden flow;
Dust of drouth in drifts and layers crawling;

Lulling dreams of softly whispering snow;
Happy birds from leafy coverts calling ;-
These go on, yet none of these you know;

Hearing not our human voices

Speaking to you all in vain,

Nor the psalm of a land that rejoices, Ringing from churches and cities and foundries its mighty refrain ! But the sun and the birds, and the frost, and the breezes that blow When tempests are striving and lightnings of heaven are spent,

With one consent

Make unto them
Who died for us eternal requiem !

IV.
Two hostile bullets in mid-air

Together shocked,

And swift were locked
Forever in a firm embrace.
Then let us men have so much grace,

To take the bullets' place
And learn that we are held

By laws that weld

Our hearts together!
As once we battled hand to hand,
So hand in hand to-day we stand,

Sworn to each other,

Brother and brother,
In storm and mist, or calm translucent weather :

And Gettysburg's guns, with death-dealing roar
Echoed from ocean to ocean, shall pour
Quickening life to the nation's core;

Filling our minds again
With the spirit of those who wrought in the Field of the Flower of Men !

FIRST HARVESTS.

By F. J. Stimson.

CHAPTER XXI.

minister's upon theological subjects.

Herein also was she a girl of our age, A HOUSE BUILT WITH HANDS.

when men go to Ingersoll and Tyndall

for their theories of the unknown God, HARLIE TOWN- and their wives to faith-cures and esoLEY'S ways were teric Buddhism for the practice of not like the ways Christianity, and leave the outworn of other young Scriptures. Still, a nature like Gracie's stock-brokers. He had its effect, even upon a girl like worked at the most Mamie. She was too quick not to be unusual times, and conscious of this, and sought to make usually made os- it up by chaffing and patronizing her

3.

tentation of idle- elder cousin. ness. Many others much delighted him When Gracie persuaded Mamie to go by thinking him a fool, chiefly because he with her to Great Barrington, Charlie wore a single eye-glass; and had a draw], was left entirely to his own devices. up-town. He had begun the summer Some reader may say, his vices ; but in the latter part of May, after Arthur Charlie was not more vicious than anhad gone to Mrs. Gower's—by showing other. He was almost alone-always a considerable amount of attention to no excepting Mr. Phineas Tamms-in the greater a person than Miss Mamie Liv- office that summer. He showed, neveringstone; thereby delighting her (as yet theless, no desire to get away, but manirudimentary) soul. The rest of his mind fested a very strict attention to busiseemed given, as usual, to his person, ness. If Arthur had but known it, he his other equipages, and the various fash- had only been asked in Charlie's place ionable meetings of the season. His upon the coaching party ; but Charlie homage to Miss Mamie had been of the was one who never made himself the ostentatious variety, rendered at races cause of another's knowing a disagreeand at horse-shows. He had even in- able fact. He had his room permanently vited her to drive out to the Hill-and- taken at Manhattan Beach ; and he diDale Club with him in his dog-cart; and vided his leisure between this and divers it had only been as a favor reluctantly clubs, urban and suburban. Occasionaccorded to Gracie that she had not ally he passed a Sunday on the yacht of gone. Mamie was convinced that such an acquaintance. an expedition would make her the most Old Mr. Townley still dropped into talked of débutante of the coming sea- the office two or three times a week ; son; and she knew that in society (as he still fancied their reputation unperhaps in other things to-day) the main changed, and the business the same as element of success is advertisement. in the old concern of Charles Townley When an article has once attracted no- & Son, before they had helped young tice, a clever person can make that no- Tamms out of difficulties and given him tice favorable or the reverse almost at a clerkship in the firm; and he bobbed will.

his gray head sagely over Tamms's expoBut Gracie was gaining a very power- sition of his plans. Business was quiet ful influence over Mamie-almost as enough. But after the old gentleman had powerful as all the world outside. Her fairly gone to Newport for the summer, parents possessed none ; they were not things seemed to take a little start. only of a previous generation, but ex Tamms's family were away, his wife officio prejudiced advisers; the girl of and two showy daughters travelling in the period holds their evidence almost as Europe by themselves, and spending a cheaply as the business man holds his great deal of money. Tamms himself

[graphic]

lived at a small hotel down at Long some new railway embankment. On the Branch, where he had his private wire, little bluff a gaudy row of cheap, undurand where he would occasionally rest a able houses and hotels; even the sea day in rustic seclusion, having his mail seems but an anticlimax, a necessary and stock-reports brought down to him but uninspiring end of things, devoid to read. For Tamms never read books : of dignity if not of danger. But the like Mrs. Gower, he preferred the reali- Jersey shore is not the coast of all the ties.

continent, nor is the city of New York One day early in August Charlie was America. invited to go down and spend the night Charlie was not troubled by these with his master, “the Governor,” as things; they seemed as natural to him Charlie termed him. He marvelled as the pink strip that marks the boundmuch at this, and went with much curi ary of an atlas map. New York was an osity, never having witnessed any of Mr. excellent place to make money in; and Tamms's domestic arrangements. He these things go well with materialism. knew that Tamms's womankind were The boat made its landing, and Charlie travelling abroad; for he had had fre- walked up the long pier through the quent occasion to cash their drafts. He crowd-a crowd of summer boarders, had often speculated at their lack of so- seeking rest, and who, finding overmuch cial ambition on this side the ocean, repose, had come down to see the evenand had come to the conclusion that it ing steamer land, for the sake of exwas either because they thought it citement. The great rollers foamed in easier "over there,” or because Tamms beneath the pier, lashing the piles indeemed the time had not come for that dignantly; and the sea on either side as yet. But if not, why not?

was speckled with bathers—children, Charlie took a little leather satchel men, and women, the last looking their with him, filled with railway reports, unloveliest in bathing-gowns. letters, telegrams, prospectuses, and oth The avenue at the pier-head was er business documents. His dressing- crammed with carriages—ladies, bored case went by express. The boat was with the long day, who had come there crammed with excursionists, clerks and for the last faint simulacrum of pleasure their female friends, common people, as that the being seen in their own equiCharlie would have called them, evident pages still afforded them ; other ladies ly going down and back for the sail. waiting for their tired husbands from Charlie secured a stool upon the upper

In a handsome victoria with deck, lit a cigar, and buried his thoughts two long-tailed horses Charlie made out in the stock-report of the afternoon pa- his host; and throwing up his overcoat per ; while the steamer made its way and satchel, took his seat beside him. down the teeming harbor, by the base “Hot in town?” said Tamms, laconiof the statue of Liberty, then being erect- cally. ed, past a Russian man-of-war, and Beastly,” answered Charlie. through the green-shored Narrows. “We might as well take a drive, I

To a patriot turned pessimist, there is suppose; there's nothing else to do besomething typical in the Jersey shore, fore dinner.” the first American coast one sees in com Charlie silently assented; and they ing from the other world. Think of the took their way along the red-clay road; last coast you leave-Cornwall, for in on the left the wooden walk and railing stance—with its bold rocks, its glorious above the gullied bank that met the sea, cliffs, its lofty castles that have been on the right a long succession of eatingstrongholds, at least, of courage and of houses and candy stores; then huge barfaith ; fit selvage for a land which some- racks of hotels, then fantastic wooden time felt the nobility and the sacrifice villas, which wildest fantasies of paint of life. And then look at the long, low, and stained shingles had sought to tormonotonous strip of sand, the ragged, ture into architecture. Not a tree was mean bank of crumbling clay, where the to be seen ; and the vast assemblage of continent'merely seems, as it were, sawed human habitations in the sandy plain off, and ends with as little majesty as resembled more a village of prairie dogs

the city

« AnkstesnisTęsti »