Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
 
Grant—Dying
By Thomas Chalmers Harbaugh (1849–1924)
 
[Born in Middletown, Md., 1849. Died in Miami Co., Ohio, 1924.]

IT seemed to me that yesternight
  I heard the branches sighing
Beneath my window, soft and low:
  “The great war chief is dying!”
His marches o’er, his battles won,        5
  His bright sword sheathed forever,
The grand old soldier stands beside
  The dark and silent river;
 
Whilst fame for him a chaplet weaves
  Within her fairest bowers,        10
Of Shiloh’s never-fading leaves,
  And Donelson’s bright flowers;
Grim Vicksburg gives a crimson rose,
  Embalmed in deathless story,
And Appomattox adds a star        15
  To crown the wreath of glory.
 
He’s dying now! the angel Death,
  Insatiate and impartial,
With icy fingers, stoops to touch
  The Union’s old field-marshal,        20
Who, like a soldier brave, awaits
  The summons so appalling,
While o’er the land, from sea to sea,
  The silent tear is falling.
 
Still in his veterans’ hearts to-day        25
  His battle-drums are beating;
His bugles always blew advance—
  With him was no retreating;
And tenderly, with moistened eye,
  Columbia bends above him,        30
And everywhere the sorrowed heart
  Tells how the people love him.
 
From golden-fruited orange groves
  To where the pines are sighing,
The winds waft messages of love        35
  To Grant, the hero, dying.
The Old World sends across the wave
  A token of its sorrow;
The greatest chief alive to-day
  May fall asleep to-morrow.        40
 
O touch the hero gently, Death!
  The land is filled with weeping,
And be his passing like a child’s—
  The counterfeit of sleeping.
A million boys in blue now stand        45
  Around their dying brother;
The mighty world knows but one Grant,
  ’Twill never know another.
 
So let him die with honors crowned
  To live fore’er in story;        50
The fields he won, the land he saved,
  Will be his lasting glory.
O mighty Ajax of the North!
  Old field-marshal immortal!
My saddened heart’s with thee to-day        55
  Before the darkened portal.
 
I listened to the winds last night,
  How mournful was their sighing!
It seemed to me a nation’s sobs
  O’er Grant, the soldier, dying.        60
O touch him, touch him softly, Death,
  Insatiate and impartial;
He is the Union’s mightiest chief—
  My cherished old field-marshal!

  April, 1885.
 
 
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