Wednesday, October 12, 2011
POEM #15- Henry Timrod (1828-1867)
Since verse is some of the best expression of the deepest of human emotion, it is only natural that war has given us some of the world's best poets. The following poem describes the waiting, waiting, waiting that comes before the first shot. Poor Timrod lived a short and sickly life. Some of his verses make up the South Carolina state song.
*Two references that I had to look up: Moultrie was another fort that along with Sumter protected Charleston's waters. Calpe is another name for the Rock of Gilbratar. Click here to read more and see the above picture's source.
Calm as that second summer which precedes
The first fall of the snow,
In the broad sunlight of heroic deeds,
The City bides the foe.
As yet, behind their ramparts stern and proud,
Her bolted thunders sleep --
Dark Sumter, like a battlemented cloud,
Looms o'er the solemn deep.
No Calpe frowns from lofty cliff or scar
To guard the holy strand;
But Moultrie holds in leash her dogs of war
Above the level sand.
And down the dunes a thousand guns lie couched,
Unseen, beside the flood --
Like tigers in some Orient jungle crouched
That wait and watch for blood.
Meanwhile, through streets still echoing with trade,
Walk grave and thoughtful men,
Whose hands may one day wield the patriot's blade
As lightly as the pen.
And maidens, with such eyes as would grow dim
Over a bleeding hound,
Seem each one to have caught the strength of him
Whose sword she sadly bound.
Thus girt without and garrisoned at home,
Day patient following day,
Old Charleston looks from roof, and spire, and dome,
Across her tranquil bay.
Ships, through a hundred foes, from Saxon lands
And spicy Indian ports,
Bring Saxon steel and iron to her hands,
And Summer to her courts.
But still, along yon dim Atlantic line,
The only hostile smoke
Creeps like a harmless mist above the brine,
From some frail, floating oak.
Shall the Spring dawn, and she still clad in smiles,
And with an unscathed brow,
Rest in the strong arms of her palm-crowned isles,
As fair and free as now?
We know not; in the temple of the Fates
God has inscribed her doom;
And, all untroubled in her faith, she waits
The triumph or the tomb.
Posted by Charity at 6:21 AM