A UTILITARIAN VIEW OF THE MONITOR'S FIGHT by Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Plain be the phrase, yet apt the verse, More ponderous than nimble; For since grimed War here laid aside His painted pomp, 'twould ill befit Overmuch to ply The rhyme's barbaric symbol. Hail to victory without the gaud Of glory; zeal that needs no fans Of banners; plain mechanic power Plied cogently in War now placed -- Where War belongs -- Among the trades and artisans. Yet this was battle, and intense -- Beyond the strife of fleets heroic; Deadlier, closer, calm 'mid storm; No passion; all went on by crank. Pivot, and screw, And calculations of caloric. Needless to dwell; the story's known. The ringing of those plates on plates Still ringeth round the world -- The clangor of the blacksmiths' fray. The anvil-din Resounds this message from the Fates: War shall yet be, and to the end; But war-paint shows the streaks of weather; War yet shall be, but the warriors Are now but operatives; War's made Less grand than Peace, And a singe runs through lace and feather.