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Herman Melville

· Herman Melville: Gettysburg (Poem) · Herman Melville: Formerly A Slave (Poem) · Herman Melville: A Requiem. For Soldiers lost in Ocean Transports (Poem) · Herman Melville: Art (Poem) · Herman Melville: America (Poem) · Herman Melville: Shelley’s Vision (Poem) · Herman Melville: The Land Of Love (Poem) · Herman Melville: The Maldive Shark (Poem) · HERMAN MELVILLE: Gold · HERMAN MELVILLE: Pipe Song · HART CRANE: At Melville’s Tomb

Herman Melville: Gettysburg (Poem)

 

Gettysburg

O Pride of the days in prime of the months
Now trebled in great renown,
When before the ark of our holy cause
Fell Dagon down-
Dagon foredoomed, who, armed and targed,
Never his impious heart enlarged
Beyond that hour; God walled his power,
And there the last invader charged.

He charged, and in that charge condensed
His all of hate and all of fire;
He sought to blast us in his scorn,
And wither us in his ire.
Before him went the shriek of shells-
Aerial screamings, taunts and yells;
Then the three waves in flashed advance
Surged, but were met, and back they set:
Pride was repelled by sterner pride,
And Right is a strong-hold yet.

Before our lines it seemed a beach
Which wild September gales have strown
With havoc on wreck, and dashed therewith
Pale crews unknown-
Men, arms, and steeds. The evening sun
Died on the face of each lifeless one,
And died along the winding marge of fight
And searching-parties lone.

Sloped on the hill the mounds were green,
Our centre held that place of graves,
And some still hold it in their swoon,
And over these a glory waves.
The warrior-monument, crashed in fight,
Shall soar transfigured in loftier light,
A meaning ampler bear;
Soldier and priest with hymn and prayer
Have laid the stone, and every bone
Shall rest in honor there.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
Gettysburg

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Herman Melville: Formerly A Slave (Poem)

  

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 so her reverie takes prophetic cheer–
In spirit she sees the stir.

Far down the depth of thousand years,
And marks the revel shine;
Her dusky face is lit with sober light,
Sibylline, yet benign.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
Formerly A Slave

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Herman Melville: A Requiem. For Soldiers lost in Ocean Transports (Poem)

 

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 many a hid recess,
Alert to partake the blessedness,
The pouring mites their airy dance pursue.
So, after ocean’s ghastly gales,
When laughing light of hoyden morning
breaks,
Every finny hider wakes–
From vaults profound swims up with
glittering scales;
Through the delightsome sea he sails,
With shoals of shining tiny things
Frolic on every wave that flings
Against the prow its showery spray;
All creatures joying in the morn,
Save them forever from joyance torn,
Whose bark was lost where now the
dolphins play;
Save them that by the fabled shore,
Down the pale stream are washed away,
Far to the reef of bones are borne;
And never revisits them the light,
Nor sight of long-sought land and pilot more;
Nor heed they now the lone bird’s flight
Round the lone spar where mid-sea surges
pour.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
A Requiem
For Soldiers lost in Ocean Transports

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Herman Melville: Art (Poem)

 

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 and scorn;
Instinct and study; love and hate;
Audacity–reverence. These must mate,
And fuse with Jacob’s mystic heart,
To wrestle with the angel–Art.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
Art

 

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Herman Melville: America (Poem)

 

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.
The Land reposed in peace below;
The children in their glee
Were folded to the exulting heart
Of young Maternity.

II
Later, and it streamed in fight
When tempest mingled with the fray,
And over the spear-point of the shaft
I saw the ambiguous lightning play.
Valor with Valor strove, and died:
Fierce was Despair, and cruel was Pride;
And the lorn Mother speechless stood,
Pale at the fury of her brood.

III
Yet later, and the silk did wind
Her fair cold for;
Little availed the shining shroud,
Though ruddy in hue, to cheer or warm
A watcher looked upon her low, and said-
She sleeps, but sleeps, she is not dead.
But in that sleep contortion showed
The terror of the vision there-
A silent vision unavowed,
Revealing earth’s foundation bare,
And Gorgon in her hidden place.
It was a thing of fear to see
So foul a dream upon so fair a face,
And the dreamer lying in that starry shroud.

IV
But from the trance she sudden broke-
The trance, or death into promoted life;
At her feet a shivered yoke,
And in her aspect turned to heaven
No trace of passion or of strife-
A clear calm look. It spake of pain,
But such as purifies from stain-
Sharp pangs that never come again-
And triumph repressed by knowledge meet,
Power delicate, and hope grown wise,
And youth matured for age’s seat-
Law on her brow and empire in her eyes.
So she, with graver air and lifted flag;
While the shadow, chased by light,
Fled along the far-brawn height,
And left her on the crag.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
America

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More in: Archive M-N, Archive M-N, Herman Melville


Herman Melville: Shelley’s Vision (Poem)

   

Shelley’s Vision

Wandering late by morning seas
When my heart with pain was low–
Hate the censor pelted me–
Deject I saw my shadow go.

In elf-caprice of bitter tone
I too would pelt the pelted one:
At my shadow I cast a stone.

When lo, upon that sun-lit ground
I saw the quivering phantom take
The likeness of St. Stephen crowned:
Then did self-reverence awake.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
Shelley’s Vision

•fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Archive M-N, Archive S-T, Archive S-T, Herman Melville, Shelley, Percy Byssche


Herman Melville: The Land Of Love (Poem)

 

The Land Of Love

Hail! voyagers, hail!
Whence e’er ye come, where’er ye rove,
No calmer strand,
No sweeter land,
Will e’er ye view, than the Land of Love!

Hail! voyagers, hail!
To these, our shores, soft gales invite:
The palm plumes wave,
The billows lave,
And hither point fix’d stars of light!

Hail! voyagers, hail!
Think not our groves wide brood with gloom;
In this, our isle,
Bright flowers smile:
Full urns, rose-heaped, these valleys bloom.

Hail! voyagers, hail!
Be not deceived; renounce vain things;
Ye may not find
A tranquil mind,
Though hence ye sail with swiftest wings.

Hail! voyagers, hail!
Time flies full fast; life soon is o’er;
And ye may mourn,
That hither borne,
Ye left behind our pleasant shore.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
The Land Of Love

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Herman Melville: The Maldive Shark (Poem)

  

The Maldive Shark

About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim,
How alert in attendance be.
From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw,
They have nothing of harm to dread,
But liquidly glide on his ghastly flank
Or before his Gorgonian head;
Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth
In white triple tiers of glittering gates,
And there find a haven when peril’s abroad,
An asylum in jaws of the Fates!
They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey,
Yet never partake of the treat —
Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull,
Pale ravener of horrible meat.

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)
The Maldive Shark

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HERMAN MELVILLE: Gold

herman_melville103

Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)

Gold

We rovers bold,
To the land of Gold,
Over the bowling billows are gliding:
Eager to toil,
For the golden spoil,
And every hardship biding.
See! See!
Before our prows’ resistless dashes
The gold-fish fly in golden flashes!
‘Neath a sun of gold,
We rovers bold,
On the golden land are gaining;
And every night,
We steer aright,
By golden stars unwaning!
All fires burn a golden glare:
No locks so bright as golden hair!
All orange groves have golden gushings;
All mornings dawn with golden flushings!
In a shower of gold, say fables old,
A maiden was won by the god of gold!
In golden goblets wine is beaming:
On golden couches kings are dreaming!
The Golden Rule dries many tears!
The Golden Number rules the spheres!
Gold, gold it is, that sways the nations:
Gold! gold! the center of all rotations!
On golden axles worlds are turning:
With phosphorescence seas are burning!
All fire-flies flame with golden gleamings!
Gold-hunters’ hearts with golden dreamings!
With golden arrows kings are slain:
With gold we’ll buy a freeman’s name!
In toilsome trades, for scanty earnings,
At home we’ve slaved, with stifled yearnings:
No light! no hope! Oh, heavy woe!
When nights fled fast, and days dragged slow.
But joyful now, with eager eye,
Fast to the Promised Land we fly:
Where in deep mines,
The treasure shines;
Or down in beds of golden streams,
The gold-flakes glance in golden gleams!
How we long to sift,
That yellow drift!
Rivers! Rivers! cease your goings!
Sand-bars! rise, and stay the tide!
‘Till we’ve gained the golden flowing;
And in the golden haven ride!

Herman Melville poetry
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HERMAN MELVILLE: Pipe Song

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Herman Melville
(1819 – 1891)

Pipe Song

Care is all stuff:–
Puff! Puff!
To puff is enough:–
Puff! Puff
More musky than snuff,
And warm is a puff:–
Puff! Puff
Here we sit mid our puffs,
Like old lords in their ruffs,
Snug as bears in their muffs:–
Puff! Puff
Then puff, puff, puff,
For care is all stuff,
Puffed off in a puff–
Puff! Puff!

Herman Melville poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive M-N, Herman Melville


HART CRANE: At Melville’s Tomb

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Hart Crane
(1889 – 1932)

At Melville’s Tomb

Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge
The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath
An embassy. Their numbers as he watched,
Beat on the dusty shore and were obscured.

And wrecks passed without sound of bells,
The calyx of death’s bounty giving back
A scattered chapter, livid hieroglyph,
The portent wound in corridors of shells.

Then in the circuit calm of one vast coil,
Its lashings charmed and malice reconciled,
Frosted eyes there were that lifted altars;
And silent answers crept across the stars.

Compass, quadrant and sextant contrive
No farther tides . . . High in the azure steeps
Monody shall not wake the mariner.
This fabulous shadow only the sea keeps.

Hart Crane poetry
fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive C-D, Crane, Hart, Herman Melville


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