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With the song of the minstrel in mine ear,
FRANCIS 0. TICKNOR.
GENERAL ALBERT SIDNEY JOHNSTON. [Fell in the Battle of Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., March 2,
In thickest fight triumphantly he fell,
While into victory's arms he led us on ;
We mourn him, yet his battle-crown is won.
No slanderous tongue can vex his spirit now,
And noble memories cluster round his name.
For hearts shall thrill and eyes grow dim with
tears, To read the story of his touching fate; How in his death the gallant soldier wears
The crown that came for earthly life too late.
Ye people! guard his memory-sacred keep
The garlands green above his hero-grave; Yet weep, for praise can never wake his sleep, To tell him he is shrined among the brave !
THE CUMBERLAND. (The United States war-ship Cumberland, commanded by Captain Morris, was sunk, with her crew of a hundred men, by the Confederate ram Merrimac, in the famous naval battle at Hampton Roads, Va., March 9, 1862. After sinking, the flag at her mainmast still floated above the water.) At anchor in Hampton Roads we lay,
On board of the Cumberland, sloop-of-war ; And at times from the fortress across the bay
The alarum of drums swept past,
Or a bugle blast
A little feather of snow-white smoke,
Was steadily steering its course
To try the force
Silent and sullen, the floating fort;
And leaps the terrible death,
With fiery breath,
Defiance back in a full broadside!
Rebounds our heavier hail
From each iron scale Of the monster's hide. “Strike your flag !" the rebel cries,
In his arrogant old plantation strain. “ Never!” our gallant Morris replies;
“ It is better to sink than to yield !"
And the whole air pealed
Then, like a kraken huge and black,
She crushed our ribs in her iron grasp! Down went the Cumberland all a-wrack,
With a sudden shudder of death,
And the cannon's breath
Still floated our flag at the mainmast head.
Every waft of the air
Was a whisper of prayer, Or a dirge for the dead. Ho! brave hearts that went down in the seas !
Ye are at peace in the troubled stream; Ho! brave land with hearts like these,
Thy flag, that is rent in twain,
Shall be one again,
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
THE RIVER FIGHT.
[In April, 1862, Admiral Farragut ran his squadron past the Confederate batteries defending the Lower Mississippi, encountering and defeating a fleet of steamers, rams, and fire-rafts.]
WOULD you hear of the River Fight?
God's stars looked down on all,
Sailed the Great Admiral.
On our high poop-deck he stood,
And round him ranged the men
Of manhood, once and agen-
Bronzed in battle and wreck-
Thornton fought the deck.
And I mind me of more than they,
Of the youthful, steadfast ones,
That have shown them worthy sons
What thought our Admiral then,
(Day of renown and tears!)
'Tis half a hundred yearsHalf a hundred years, to-day!
Who could fail, with him ?
Not a pulse but beat the higher !
The Flag is going under fire!
The Hartford is going under fire!
The way to our work was plain :
Soon as 'twas sundered)-
How they sprung, in the dim night haze,
Kept every muzzle ablaze!
Brought up on the water-ways!
'Twas lightning and black eclipse, With a bellowing roll and crash; But soon, upon either bow,
What with forts, and fire-rafts, and ships(The whole fleet was hard at it now, All pounding away !) and Porter Still thundering with shell and mortar'Twas the mighty sound and form Of an equatorial storm! (Such you see in the far south, After long heat and drouth,
As day draws nigh to evenArching from north to south,
Blinding the tropic sun,
The great black bow comes onTill the thunder-veil is riven, When all is crash and levin,