The Hive At Gettysburg





IN the old Hebrew myth the lion's frame,

So terrible alive,

Bleached by the desert's sun and wind, became

The wandering wild bees' hive;

And he who, lone and naked-handed, tore

Those jaws of death apart,

In after time drew forth their honeyed store

To strengthen his strong heart.



Dead seemed the legend: but it only slept

To wake beneath our sky;

Just on the spot whence ravening Treason crept

Back to its lair to die,

Bleeding and torn from Freedom's mountain bounds,

A stained and shattered drum

Is now the hive where, on their flowery rounds,

The wild bees go and come.



Unchallenged by a ghostly sentinel,

They wander wide and far,

Along green hillsides, sown with shot and shell,

Through vales once choked with war.

The low reveille of their battle-drum

Disturbs no morning prayer;

With deeper peace in summer noons their hum

Fills all the drowsy air.



And Samson's riddle is our own to-day,

Of sweetness from the strong,

Of union, peace, and freedom plucked away

From the rent jaws of wrong.

From Treason's death we draw a purer life,

As, from the beast he slew,

A sweetness sweeter for his bitter strife

The old-time athlete drew!

1868.





The Hills Of Sewanee The Human Sacrifice facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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