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[284] sing best in defeat that no Union poem on Gettysburg quite equals Will Henry Thompson's later High tide (1888). Stedman, however, made a ringing ballad, Gettysburg, and Bret Harte preserved a real episode of the day in his John Burns of Gettysburg. Best of all, of course, was Lincoln's famous address at the battle-field on 19 November, 1863, which lacks nothing of poetry but its outer forms.

As Grant rose to fame the poets kept pace with his deeds: Melville with Running the Batteries and Boker with Before Vicksburg dealt with the struggle to open the Mississippi. Lookout Mountain was commemorated by BokerThe battle of Lookout Mountain—and William Dean HowellsThe battle in the clouds. Two poems this year honoured the negro soldiers that the Union army had begun to use. Boker's The black regiment concerns itself with the assault on Fort Hudson; Brownell's Bury them is a stern and terrible poem on the slaughter of the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts, with their Colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, at Fort Wagner, South Carolina. The Confederates buried Shaw in a pit under a heap of his men, and Brownell thought of them as dragon's teeth buried in ‘the sacred, strong Slave-Sod’ only to rise—Southerners are supposed to be speaking—as sabres and bayonets:

And our hearts wax strange and chill,
With an ominous shudder and thrill,
Even here, on the strong Slave-Sod,
Lest, haply, we be found
(Ah, dread no brave hath drowned!)
Fighting against Great God.

In the fourth year of the war the note of triumph passed from the Southern to the Northern poets. S. H. M. Byers's Sherman's March to the sea and Halpine's The song of Sherman's Army are almost gay, and Henry Clay Work's Marching through Georgia if not gay is nothing else. Holmes's Sherman's in Savannah rhymed the name of the fallen city with ‘banner.’ Strangely haunting is Whitman's Ethiopia Saluting the Colors. Also haunting, but sad, is Melville's A Dirge for McPherson——

True fame is his, for life is o'er
Sarpedon of the mighty war——

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