And so the Day, about to yield his breath,
Utters the stars unto the listening Night,
To stand for burning fare-thee-wells of light
Said on the verge of death.
O hero-life that lit us like the sun!
O hero-words that glittered like the stars
And stood and shone above the gloomy wars
When the hero-life was done!
The phantoms of a battle came to dwell
I‘ the fitful vision of his dying eyes—
Yet even in battle-dreams, he sends supplies
To those he loved so well.
His army stands in battle-line arrayed:
His couriers fly: all's done: now God decide!
—And not till then saw he the Other Side
Or would accept the shade.
Thou land whose sun is gone, thy stars remain!
Still shine the words that miniature his deeds.
O thrice-beloved, where'er thy great heart bleeds,
Solace hast thou for pain!
I hear again the tread of war go thundering through the land,
And Puritan and Cavalier are clinching neck and hand,
Round Shiloh church the furious foes have met to thrust and slay,
Where erst the peaceful sons of Christ were wont to kneel and pray.
The wrestling of the ages shakes the hills of Tennessee,
With all their echoing mounts a-throb with war's wild minstrelsy;
A galaxy of stars new-born round the shield of Mars,
And set against the Stars and Stripes the flashing Stars and Bars.