38. our wounded.
by C. K. Tuckerman.As loftier rise the ocean's heaving crests,
Ere they sink, tempest driven, on the strand;
So do these hearts and freedom-beating breasts,
Sublimed by suffering, fall upon our laud.
Wounded! O sweet-lipped word! for on the page
Of this strange history, all these scars shall be
The hieroglyphics of a valiant age,
Deep writ in freedom's blood-red mystery.
What though your fate sharp agony reveals!
What though the mark of brothers' blows you bear!
The breath of your oppression upward steals,
Like incense from crushed spices into air.
Freedom lies listening, nor as yet averts
The battle horrors of these months' slow length;
But as she listens, silently she girts
More close, more firm, the armor of her strength.
Then deem them not as lost, these bitter days,
Nor those which yet in anguish must be spent
Far from loved skies and home's peace-moving ways,
For these are not the losses you lament.
It is the glory that your country bore,
Which you would rescue from a living grave;
It is the unity that once she wore,
Which your true hearts are yearning still to save.
Despair not: it is written, though the eye,
Red with its watching, can no future scan,
The glow of triumph yet shall flush the sky,
And God redeem the ruin made by man.