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 said, and measured the mountain then:
So master-riders fling the rein--
But you must know your men.
On yester-morn in grayish mist,
Armies like ghosts on hills had fought,
And rolled from the cloud their thunders loud
The Cumberlands far had caught:
To-day the sunlit steeps are sought.
Grant stood on cliffs whence all was plain,
And smoked as one who feels no cares;
But mastered nervousness intense
Alone such calmness wears.
The summit-cannon plunge their flame
Sheer down the primal wall,
But up and up each linking troop
In stretching festoons crawl--
Nor fire a shot. Such men appall
The foe, though brave. He, from the brink,
Looks far along the breadth of slope,
And sees two miles of dark dots creep,
And knows they mean the cope.
He sees them creep. Yet here and there
Half hid 'mid leafless groves they go;
As men who ply through traceries high
Of turreted marbles show--
So dwindle these to eyes below.
But fronting shot and flanking shell
Sliver and rive the inwoven ways;
High tops of oaks and high hearts fall,
But never the climbing stays.
From right to left, from left to right
They roll the rallying cheer--
Vie with each other, brother with brother,
Who shall the first appear--
What color-bearer with colors clear
In sharp relief, like sky-drawn Grant,
Whose cigar must now be near the stump--
While in solicitude his back
Heaps slowly to a hump.
Near and more near; till now the flags
Run like a catching flame;
And one flares highest, to peril nighest--
_He_ means to make a name:
Salvos! they give him his fame.
The staff is caught, and next the rush,
And then the leap where death has led;
Flag answered flag along the crest,
And swarms of rebels fled.
But some who gained the envied Alp,
And--eager, ardent, earnest there--
Dropped into Death's wide-open arms,
Quelled on the wing like eagles struck in
Forever they slumber young and fair,
The smile upon them as they died;
Their end attained, that end a height:
Life was to these a dream fulfilled,
And death a starry night.
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Comments about this poem (Chattanooga by Herman Melville )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe