The Battle Autumn Of 1862





THE flags of war like storm-birds fly,

The charging trumpets blow;

Yet rolls no thunder in the sky,

No earthquake strives below.



And, calm and patient, Nature keeps

Her ancient promise well,

Though o'er her bloom and greenness sweeps

The battle's breath of hell.



And still she walks in golden hours

Through harvest-happy farms,

And still she wears her fruits and flowers

Like jewels on her arms.



What mean the gladness of the plain,

This joy of eve and morn,

The mirth that shakes the beard of grain

And yellow locks of corn?



Ah! eyes may well be full of tears,

And hearts with hate are hot;

But even-paced come round the years,

And Nature changes not.



She meets with smiles our bitter grief,

With songs our groans of pain;

She mocks with tint of flower and leaf

The war-field's crimson stain.



Still, in the cannon's pause, we hear

Her sweet thanksgiving-psalm;

Too near to God for doubt or fear,

She shares the eternal calm.



She knows the seed lies safe below

The fires that blast and burn;

For all the tears of blood we sow

She waits the rich return.



She sees with clearer eve than ours

The good of suffering born,--

The hearts that blossom like her flowers,

And ripen like her corn.



Oh, give to us, in times like these,

The vision of her eyes;

And make her fields and fruited trees

Our golden prophecies



Oh, give to us her finer ear

Above this stormy din,

We too would hear the bells of cheer

Ring peace and freedom in.

1862.





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