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How it climbs with daring feet and hands - how it dashes! How the true thunder bellows after the lightning - how

bright the Aashes of lightning! How Democracy with desperate vengeful port strides on,

shown through the dark by those flashes of lightning ! (Yet a mournful wail and low sob I fancied I heard

through the dark, In a lull of the deafening confusion.)

3 Thunder on! stride on, Democracy ! strike with vengeful

stroke! And do you rise higher than ever yet O days, 0 cities ! Crash heavier, heavier yet O storms ! you have done me

good, My soul prepared in the mountains absorbs your immortal

strong nutriment, Long had I walk'd my cities, my country roads through

farms, only half satisfied, One doubt nauseous undulating like a snake, crawld on

the ground before me, Continually preceding my steps, turning upon me oft, iron

ically hissing low; The cities I loved so well I abandon'd and left, I sped to

the certainties suitable to me, Hungering, hungering, hungering, for primal energies and

Nature's dauntlessness, I refresh'd myself with it only, I could relish it only, I waited the bursting forth of the pent fire -- on the water

and air I waited long ; But now I no longer wait, I am fully satisfied, I am

glutted, I have witness’d the true lightning, I have witness’d my

cities electric, I have lived to behold man burst forth and warlike Amer

ica rise, Hence I will seek no more the food of the northern soli

tary wilds, No more the mountains roam or sail the stormy sea.

A line in long array where they wind betwixt green

islands, They take a serpentine course, their arms Aash in the sun

- hark to the musical clank, Behold the silvery river, in it the splashing horses loitering

stop to drink, Behold the brown-faced men, each group, each person a

picture, the negligent rest on the saddles, Some emerge on the opposite bank, others are just entering

the ford — while, Scarlet and blue and snowy white, The guidon Alags Autter gayly in the wind.

I see before me now a traveling army halting,
Below a fertile valley spread, with barns and the orchards

of summer, Behind, the terraced sides of a mountain, abrupt, in places

rising high, Broken, with rocks, with clinging cedars, with tall shapes

dingily seen, The numerous camp-fires scatter'd near and far, some

away up on the mountain, The shadowy forms of men and horses, looming, large

sized, Aickering, And over all the sky -- the sky! far, far out of reach,

studded, breaking out, the eternal stars.

With its cloud of skirmishers in advance,
With now the sound of a single shot snapping like a whip,

and now an irregular volley, The swarming ranks press on and on, the dense brigades

press on, Glittering dimly, toiling under the sun - the dust-cover'd

men; In columns rise and fall to the undulations of the ground,

With artillery interspers'd — the wheels rumble, the horses

sweat, As the army corps advances.

By the bivouac's fitful Aame,
A procession winding around me, solemn and sweet and

but first I note, The tents of the sleeping army, the fields' and woods' dim

outline, The darkness lit by spots of kindled fire, the silence, Like a phantom far or near an occasional figure moving, The shrubs and trees, (as I lift my eyes they seem to be

stealthily watching me,) While wind in procession thoughts, O tender and won

drous thoughts, Of life and death, of home and the past and loved, and of those that are far

away; A solemn and slow procession there as I sit on the ground, By the bivouac's fitful Alame.

Vigil strange I kept on the field one night;
When you my son and my comrade dropt at my side that

One look I but


return'd with a look I shall never forget, One touch of your hand to mine O boy, reach'd up as you

lay on the ground, Then onward I sped in the battle, the even-contested

battle, Till late in the night reliev'd to the place at last again I

made my way, Found you in death so cold dear comrade, found your body

son of responding kisses, (never again on earth respond

ing) Bared your face in the starlight, curious the scene, cool

blew the moderate night-wind,

Long there and then in vigil I stood, dimly around me the

battle-field spreading, Vigil wondrous and vigil sweet there in the fragrant silent

night, But not a tear fell, not even a long-drawn sigh, long, long

I gazed, Then on the earth partially reclining sat by your side lean

ing my chin in my hands, Passing sweet hours, immortal and mystic hours with

you dearest comrade not a tear, not a word, Vigil of silence, love and death, vigil for you my son and

my soldier, As onward silently stars aloft, eastward new ones upward

stole, Vigil final for you brave boy, (I could not save you, swift

was your death, I faithfully loved you and cared for you living, I think we

shall surely meet again,) Till at latest lingering of the night, indeed just as the

dawn appear'd, My comrade I wrapt in his blanket, envelop'd well his

form, Folded the blanket well, tucking it carefully over head and

carefully under feet, And there and then and bathed by the rising sun, my son

in his grave, in his rude-dug grave I deposited, Ending my vigil strange with that, vigil of night and

battle-field dim, Vigil for boy of responding kisses, (never again on earth

responding) Vigil for comrade swiftly slain, vigil I never forget, how

as day brighten’d, I rose from the chill ground and folded my soldier well in

his blanket, And buried him where he fell.

A sight in camp in the daybreak gray and dim,
As from my tent I emerge so early sleepless,
As slow I walk in the cool fresh air the path near by the

hospital tent, Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there

untended lying, Over each the blanket spread, ample brownish woolen

blanket, Gray and heavy blanket, folding, covering all. Curious I halt and silent stand, Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest the

first just lift the blanket; Who are you elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well

gray'd hair, and Alesh all sunken about the eyes ? Who are you my dear comrade? Then to the second I step — and who are you my child

and darling? Who are you sweet boy with cheeks yet blooming ? Then to the third a face nor child nor old, very calm,

as of beautiful yellow-white ivory; Young man I think I know you - I think this face is the

face of the Christ himself, Dead and divine and brother of all, and here again he lies.


The last sunbeam
Lightly falls from the finishid Sabbath,
On the pavement here, and there beyond it is looking,

Down a new-made double grave.

Lo, the moon ascending,
Up from the east the silvery round moon,
Beautiful over the house-tops, ghastly, phantom moon,

Immense and silent moon.

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