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I see a sad procession,
And I hear the sound of coming full-key'd bugles,
All the channels of the city streets they're flooding,

As with voices and with tears.

I hear the great drums pounding,
And the small drums steady whirring,
And every blow of the great convulsive drums,

Strikes me through and through.

For the son is brought with the father, (In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell, Two veterans son and father dropt together,

And the double grave awaits them.)

Now nearer blow the bugles,
And the drums strike more convulsive,
And the daylight o’er the pavement quite has faded,

And the strong dead-march enwraps me.

In the eastern sky up-buoying, The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumin’d, ('Tis some mother's large transparent face,

In heaven brighter growing.)

O strong dead-march you please me! O moon immense with your silvery face you soothe me! O my soldiers twain ! O my veterans passing to burial !

What I have I also give you.

The moon gives you light,
And the bugles and the drums give you music,
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,

My heart gives you love.

Over the carnage rose prophetic a voice,
Be not dishearten'd, affection shall solve the problems of

freedom yet,

Those who love each other shall become invincible,
They shall yet make Columbia victorious.

Sons of the Mother of All, you shall yet be victorious,
You shall yet laugh to scorn the attacks of all the re-

mainder of the earth.

No danger shall balk Columbia's lovers,
If need be a thousand shall sternly immolate themselves

for one.

One from Massachusetts shall be a Missourian's comrade, From Maine and from hot Carolina, and another an Ore

gonese, shall be friends triune, More precious to each other than all the riches of the


To Michigan, Florida perfumes shall tenderly come,
Not the perfumes of flowers, but sweeter, and wafted be-

yond death.


It shall be customary in the houses and streets to

manly affection, The most dauntless and rude shall touch face to face

lightly, The dependence of Liberty shall be lovers, The continuance of Equality shall be comrades. These shall tie you and band you stronger than hoops of

iron, I, ecstatic, O partners ! O lands! with the love of lovers

tie you.

(Were you looking to be held together by lawyers ?
Or by an agreement on a paper ? or by arms?
Nay, nor the world, nor any living thing, will so cohere.)

Who are you dusky woman, so ancient hardly human,
With your woolly-white and turban'd head, and bare bony

feet? Why rising by the roadside here, do you the colors greet ? ('Tis while our army lines Carolina's sands and pines,

Forth from thy hovel door thou Ethiopia com’st to me,
As under doughty Sherman I march toward the sea.)
Me master years a hundred since from my parents sunder'd,
A little child, they caught me as the savage beast is caught,
Then hither me across the sea the cruel slaver brought.
No further does she say, but lingering all the day,
Her high-borne turban'd head she wags, and rolls her

darkling eye,
And courtesies to the regiments, the guidons moving by.
What is it fateful woman, so blear, hardly human?
Why wag your head with turban bound, yellow, red and

green? Are the things so strange and marvelous you see or have


Look down fair moon and bathe this scene,
Pour softly down night's nimbus Aloods on faces ghastly,

swollen, purple,
On the dead on their backs with arms toss'd wide,
Pour down your unstinted nimbus sacred moon.

Word over all, beautiful as the sky,
Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must in time

be utterly lost, That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly

softly wash again, and ever again, this soild world; For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself is dead, I look where he lies white-faced and still in the coffin - I

draw near,

Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face

in the coffin.




I When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd, And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the

night, I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring. Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring, Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west, And thought of him I love.

2 O powerful western fallen star! O shades of night — O moody, tearful night! O great star disappear'd- 0 the black murk that hides

the star! O cruel hands that hold me powerless - helpless soul

of me! O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul.

3 In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white

wash'd palings, Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves

of rich green,

With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the per

fume strong I love,

With every leaf a miracle — and from this bush in the

dooryard, With delicate-color'd blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of

rich green,

A sprig with its flower I break.

4 In the swamp in secluded recesses, A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song. Solitary the thrush, The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settle

ments, Sings by himself a song. Song of the bleeding throat, Death's outlet song of life, (for well dear brother I know, If thou wast not granted to sing thou would'st surely die.)

5 Over the breast of the spring, the land, amid cities, Amid lanes and through old woods, where lately the vio

lets peep'd from the ground, spotting the gray débris, Amid the grass in the fields each side of the lanes, passing

the endless grass, Passing the yellow-spear'd wheat, every grain from its

shroud in the dark-brown fields uprisen, Passing the apple-tree blows of white and pink in the or

chards, Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave, Night and day journeys a coffin.

6 Coffin that passes through lanes and streets, Through day and night with the great cloud darkening the

land, With the pomp of the inloop'd flags with the cities draped

in black, With the show of the States themselves as of crape-veil'd

women standing, With processions long and winding and the Aambeaus of

the night, With the countless torches lit, with the silent sea of faces

and the unbared heads, With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the

sombre faces,

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