Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
May 6
An Uninscribed Monument on One of the Battlefields of the Wilderness
By Herman Melville (1819–1891)
          The battle of the Wilderness lasted three days and was fought in Virginia between the Federals under Grant and the Confederates under Lee. The result of the battle was undecided, and it was followed within a few days by the battle of Spottsylvania and this was the occasion of General Grant’s famous message, “I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.”

SILENCE and Solitude may hint
  (Whose home is in yon piny wood)
What I, though tableted, could never tell—
The din which here befell,
  And striving of the multitude,        5
The iron cones and spheres of death
  Set round me in their rust,—
  These two if just
Shall speak with more than animated breath—
  Show who beholdest, if thy thought,        10
Not narrowed down to personal cheer,
Take in the import of the quiet here—
  The after-quiet—the calm full fraught!
Thou too wilt silent stand,—
  Silent as I, and lonesome as the land.        15

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