previous next

93. “at Port Royal--1861.”

by J. G. Whittier.
The tent-lights glimmer on the land,
     The ship-lights on the sea;
The night-wind smooths with drifting sand
     Our track on lone Tybee.

At last our grating keels outslide,
     Our good boats forward swing;
And while we ride the land-locked tide,
     Our negroes row and sing.

For dear the bondman holds his gifts
     Of music and of song:
The gold that kindly Nature sifts
     Among his sands of wrong;

The power to make his toiling days
     And poor home-comforts please;
The quaint relief of mirth that plays
     With sorrow's minor keys.

Another glow than sunset's fire
     Has filled the West with light,
Where field and garner, barn and byre,
     Are blazing through the night.

[74] The land is wild with fear and hate,
     The rout runs mad and fast;
From hand to hand, from gate to gate,
     The flaming brand is passed.

The lurid glow falls strong across
     Dark faces broad with smiles;
Not theirs the terror, hate, and loss,
     That fire yon blazing piles.

With oar-strokes timing to their song,
     They weave in simple lays
The pathos of remembered wrong,
     The hope of better days--

The triumph-note that Miriam sung,
     The joy of uncaged birds;
Softening with Afric's mellow tongue
     Their broken Saxon words.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Port Royal (South Carolina, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John G. Whittier (1)
Saxon (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1861 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: