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Herman Melville

A poem by Herman Melville: Formerly A Slave

  Formerly A Slave The sufferance of her race is shown, And retrospect of life, Which now too late deliverance dawns upon; Yet is she not at strife. Her children’s children they shall know The good withheld from her; And …

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A poem by Herman Melville: Far Off-Shore

  Far Off-Shore Look, the raft, a signal flying, Thin–a shred; None upon the lashed spars lying, Quick or dead. Cries the sea-fowl, hovering over, ‘Crew, the crew?’ And the billow, reckless, rover, Sweeps anew!   Herman Melville

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A poem by Herman Melville: Epilogue

  Epilogue _If Luther’s day expand to Darwin’s year,_ _Shall that exclude the hope–foreclose the fear?_ Unmoved by all the claims our times avow, The ancient Sphinx still keeps the porch of shade; And comes Despair, whom not her calm …

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A poem by Herman Melville: Dupont’s Round Fight

  Dupont’s Round Fight (November, 1861) In time and measure perfect moves All Art whose aim is sure; Evolving rhyme and stars divine Have rules, and they endure. Nor less the Fleet that warred for Right, And, warring so, prevailed, …

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A poem by Herman Melville: Dirge

  Dirge We drop our dead in the sea, The bottomless, bottomless sea; Each bubble a hollow sigh, As it sinks forever and aye. We drop our dead in the sea,– The dead reek not of aught; We drop our …

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A poem by Herman Melville: Crossing The Tropics

  Crossing The Tropics From ‘The Saya-y-Manto.’ While now the Pole Star sinks from sight The Southern Cross it climbs the sky; But losing thee, my love, my light, O bride but for one bridal night, The loss no rising …

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A poem by Herman Melville: Chattanooga

  Chattanooga November, 1863 A kindling impulse seized the host Inspired by heaven’s elastic air; Their hearts outran their General’s plan, Though Grant commanded there– Grant, who without reserve can dare; And, ‘Well, go on and do your will,’ He …

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A poem by Herman Melville: Bridegroom Dick

  Bridegroom Dick 1876 Sunning ourselves in October on a day Balmy as spring, though the year was in decay, I lading my pipe, she stirring her tea, My old woman she says to me, ‘Feel ye, old man, how …

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A poem by Herman Melville: Aurora Borealis

  Aurora Borealis _Commemorative of the Dissolution of armies at the Peace_ May, 1865 What power disbands the Northern Lights After their steely play? The lonely watcher feels an awe Of Nature’s sway, As when appearing, He marked their flashed …

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A poem by Herman Melville: Art

  Art In placid hours well-pleased we dream Of many a brave unbodied scheme. But form to lend, pulsed life create, What unlike things must meet and mate: A flame to melt–a wind to freeze; Sad patience–joyous energies; Humility–yet pride …

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A poem by Herman Melville: America

  America I Where the wings of a sunny Dome expand I saw a Banner in gladsome air- Starry, like Berenice’s Hair- Afloat in broadened bravery there; With undulating long-drawn flow, As rolled Brazilian billows go Voluminously o’er the Line. …

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A poem by Herman Melville: A Requiem

  A Requiem _For Soldiers lost in Ocean Transports_ When, after storms that woodlands rue, To valleys comes atoning dawn, The robins blithe their orchard-sports renew; And meadow-larks, no more withdrawn Caroling fly in the languid blue; The while, from …

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A poem by Herman Melville: A Meditation

  A Meditation How often in the years that close, When truce had stilled the sieging gun, The soldiers, mounting on their works, With mutual curious glance have run From face to face along the fronting show, And kinsman spied, …

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A poem by Herman Melville: A Dirge For McPherson

  A Dirge For McPherson Arms reversed and banners creped – Muffled drums; Snowy horses sable-draped – McPherson comes. But, tell us, shall we know him more, Lost-Mountain and lone Kenesaw? Brave the sword upon the pall – A gleam …

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