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Gettysburg

 O Pride of the days in prime of the months
Now trebled in great renown,
When before the ark of our holy cause
Fell Dagon down-
Dagon foredoomed, who, armed and targed,
Never his impious heart enlarged
Beyond that hour; God walled his power,
And there the last invader charged.
He charged, and in that charge condensed His all of hate and all of fire; He sought to blast us in his scorn, And wither us in his ire.
Before him went the shriek of shells- Aerial screamings, taunts and yells; Then the three waves in flashed advance Surged, but were met, and back they set: Pride was repelled by sterner pride, And Right is a strong-hold yet.
Before our lines it seemed a beach Which wild September gales have strown With havoc on wreck, and dashed therewith Pale crews unknown- Men, arms, and steeds.
The evening sun Died on the face of each lifeless one, And died along the winding marge of fight And searching-parties lone.
Sloped on the hill the mounds were green, Our centre held that place of graves, And some still hold it in their swoon, And over these a glory waves.
The warrior-monument, crashed in fight, Shall soar transfigured in loftier light, A meaning ampler bear; Soldier and priest with hymn and prayer Have laid the stone, and every bone Shall rest in honor there.

by Herman Melville
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