A Dirge for McPherson

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A Dirge for McPherson
by Herman Melville

Arms reversed and banners craped—
    Muffled drums;
Snowy horses sable-draped—
    McPherson comes.

But, tell us, shall we know him more, Lost-Mountain and lone Kenesaw?

Brave the sword upon the pall— A gleam in gloom; So a bright name lighteth all McPherson's doom.

Bear him through the chapel-door— Let priest in stole Pace before the warrior Who led. Bell--toll!

Lay him down within the nave, The Lesson read— Man is noble, man is brave, But man's--a weed.

Take him up again and wend Graveward, nor weep: There's a trumpet that shall rend This Soldier's sleep.

Pass the ropes the coffin round, And let descend; Prayer and volley—let it sound McPherson's end.

True fame is his, for life is o'er— Sarpedon of the mighty war.
[1]

Reference[edit]

  1. Literature Network