A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poem of the Day: Herman Melville

Shiloh
A Requiem (April 1862)

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
     The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
     The forest-field of Shiloh --
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched one stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
     Around the church of Shiloh --
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
          And natural prayer
      Of dying foemen mingled there --
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve --
     Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
     But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
     And all is hushed at Shiloh.
--Herman Melville

Amid the historical and moral stupidity of politicians proclaiming Confederate History Month, it's good to turn to poets like Melville for sanity and truth.

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