When tempest winnowed grain from bran; And men were looking for a man, Authority called you to the van, McClellan: Along the line the plaudit ran, As later when Antietam's cheers began. Through storm-cloud and eclipse must move Each Cause and Man, dear to the stars and Jove; Nor always can the wisest tell Deferred fulfillment from the hopeless knell-- The struggler from the floundering ne'er-do-well. A pall-cloth on the Seven Days fell, McClellan: Unprosperously heroical! Who could Antietam's wreath foretell? Authority called you; then, in mist And loom of jeopardy--dismissed. But staring peril soon appalled; You, the Discarded, she recalled-- Recalled you, nor endured delay; And forth you rode upon a blasted way, Arrayed Pope's rout, and routed Lee's array, McClellan: Your tent was choked with captured flags that day, McClellan: Antietam was a telling fray. Recalled you; and she heard your drum Advancing through the ghastly gloom. You manned the wall, you propped the Dome, You stormed the powerful stormer home. McClellan: Antietam's cannon long shall boom. At Alexandria, left alone, McClellan: Your veterans sent from you, and thrown To fields and fortunes all unknown-- What thoughts were yours, revealed to none, While faithful still you labored on-- Hearing the far Manassas gun! McClellan: Only Antietam could atone. You fought in the front (an evil day, McClellan)-- The fore-front of the first assay; The Cause went sounding, groped its way; The leadsmen quarrelled in the bay; Quills thwarted swords; divided sway; The rebel flushed in his lusty May: You did your best, as in you lay, McClellan. Antietam's sun-burst sheds a ray. Your medalled soldiers love you well, McClellan: Name your name, their true hearts swell; With you they shook dread Stonewall's spell, With you they braved the blended yell Of rebel and maligner fell; With you in shame or fame they dwell, McClellan: Antietam-braves a brave can tell. And when your comrades (now so few, McClellan-- Such ravage in deep files they rue) Meet round the board, and sadly view The empty places; tribute due They render to the dead--and you! Absent and silent o'er the blue; The one-armed lift the wine to you, McClellan, And great Antietam's cheers renew.

George Brinton McClellan