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77. A war study.

“Sun and rain regardless falling
     On the just and the unjust.”

Methinks, all idly and too well
     We love this Nature-little care
(Whate'er her children brave and bear)
     Were hers, though any grief befell.

With gayer sunshine still she seeks
     To gild our trouble, so 'twould seem;
Through all this long, tremendous dream,
     A tear hath never wet her cheeks.

And such a scene I call to mind:
     The third day's thunder (fort and fleet,
And the great guns beneath our feet)
     Was dying, and a warm Gulf wind

Made monotone 'mid stays and shrouds;
     O'er books and men in quiet chat,
With the Great Admiral I sat,
     Watching the lovely cannon-clouds.

For still, from mortar and from gun,
     Or shot-fused shell that burst aloft,
Out-sprung a rose-wreath, bright and soft,
     Tinged with the redly setting sun.

And I their beauty praised: but he,
     The grand old Senior, strong and mild,
(Of head a sage, in heart a child,)
     Sighed for the wreck that still must be.

U. S. N.

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