A DIRGE FOR McPHERSON Killed in front of Atlanta (July, 1864) by Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Arms reversed and banners craped -- Muffled drums; Snowy horses sable-draped -- McPherson comes. But, tell us, shall we know him more, Lost-Mountain and lone Kenesaw? Brave the sword upon the pall -- A gleam in gloom; So a bright name lighteth all McPherson's doom. Bear him through the chapel-door -- Let priest in stole Pace before the warrior Who led. Bell --toll! Lay him down within the nave, The lesson read -- Man is noble, man is brave, But man's -- a weed. Take him up again and wend Graveward, nor weep: There's a trumpet that shall rend This Soldier's sleep. Pass the ropes the coffin round, And let descend; Prayer and volley -- let it sound McPherson's end. True fame is his, for life is o'er -- Sarpedon of the mighty war.