Wednesday, February 8, 2012

SHILOH: A REQUIEM


by: Herman Melville (1819-1891)
SKIMMING lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh--
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched one stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh--
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there--
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve--
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim
And all is hushed at Shiloh.

"Shiloh: A Requiem" was originally published in Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War. Herman Melville. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1866.


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