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.