Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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
John Pelham
By James Ryder Randall (1839–1908)
JUST as the spring came laughing through the strife,
    With all its gorgeous cheer,
In the bright April of historic life
    Fell the great cannoneer.
The wondrous lulling of a hero’s breath        5
    His bleeding country weeps;
Hushed in the alabaster arms of Death,
    Our young Marcellus sleeps.
Nobler and grander than the child of Rome
    Curbing his chariot steeds,        10
The knightly scion of a Southern home
    Dazzled the land with deeds.
Gentlest and bravest in the battle-brunt,
    The champion of the truth,
He bore his banner to the very front        15
    Of our immortal youth.
A clang of sabres ’mid Virginian snow,
    The fiery pang of shells,—
And there’s a wail of immemorial woe
    In Alabama dells.        20
The pennon drops that led the sabred band
    Along the crimson field;
The meteor blade sinks from the nerveless hand
    Over the spotless shield.
We gazed and gazed upon that beauteous face;        25
    While round the lips and eyes,
Couched in their marble slumber, flashed the grace
    Of a divine surprise.
O mother of a blessed soul on high!
    Thy tears may soon be shed;        30
Think of thy boy with princes of the sky,
    Among the Southern dead.
How must he smile on this dull world beneath,
    Fevered with swift renown,—
He, with the martyr’s amaranthine wreath        35
    Twining the victor’s crown!

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