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45. in the Sepulchre.

O Keeper of the Sacred Key,
     And the Great Seal of Destiny!
Whose eye is the blue canopy,
     Look down upon the world once more and tell us what the end will be.

Three cold, bright moons have filled and wheeled,
     And the white cerement that concealed
The lifeless Figure on the shield,
     Is turned to verdure, and the land is now one mighty battle-field.

[44] And the twin brothers that we said
     Had clashed above the fallen head,
Heedless of all on which they tread,
     Now crimson with each other's blood the vernal drapery of the dead.

And all their children, far and wide,
     That are so greatly multiplied,
Rise up in frenzy and divide,
     And all, according to their might, unsheathe the sword and choose their side.

I see the champion sword-strokes flash,
     I see them fall and hear them clash,
I hear the murderous engines crash,
     I see a brother stoop to loose his foeman-brother's bloody sash.

I hear the curses and the thanks,
     I see the mad charge on the flanks--
The rents — the gaps — the broken ranks--
     And see the vanquished driven headlong down the river's bridgeless banks.

I see the death-gripe on the plain,
     The grappling monsters on the main,
I see the thousands that are slain,
     And all the speechless suffering and agony of heart and brain.

I see the torn and mangled corpse,
     The dead and dying heaped in scores,
The heedless rider by his horse--
     The wounded captives bayoneted through and through without remorse.

I see the dark and bloody spots--
     The crowded rooms and crowded cots--
The bleaching bones, the battle-blots--
     And write on many a nameless grave a legend of forget-me-nots

I see the assassin crouch and fire--
     I see his victim fall — expire--
I see the victor creeping nigher,
     To strip the dead — he turns the head — the face!--the son beholds his sire!

I hear the dying sufferer cry,
     With his crushed face turned to the sky,
I see him crawl in agony
     To the foul pool, and bow his head into its bloody slime and die.

And in the low sun's blood-shot rays--
     Portentous of the coming days--
I see the oceans blush and blaze,
     And the emergent continent between them wrapt in crimson haze.

And I foreorder and ordain,
     That ere the sixth red moon shall wane,
Those brothers' swords shall cross again,
     And the true shall smite down the false within the Virgin's waste domain.

And, lo! the bloody dew shall fall,
     And my great darkness like a pall
Of deep compassion cover all,
     Till the dead nation rise, transformed by truth, to triumph over all.

Thus saith the Keeper of the Key,
     And the Great Seal of Destiny,
Whose eye is the blue canopy,
     And casts the pall of his great darkness over all the land and sea.

--Louisville Journal.

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