Poetry Forum Areas

Introduce Yourself

New to PoetrySoup? Introduce yourself here. Tell us something about yourself.

Looking for a Poem

Can't find a poem you've read before? Looking for a poem for a special person or an occasion? Ask other member for help.

Writing Poetry

Ways to improve your poetry. Post your techniques, tips, and creative ideas how to write better.

High Critique

For poets who want unrestricted constructive criticism. This is NOT a vanity workshop. If you do not want your poem seriously critiqued, do not post here. Constructive criticism only. PLEASE Only Post One Poem a Day!!!

How do I...?

Ask PoetrySoup Members how to do something or find something on PoetrySoup.



You have an ad blocker! We understand, but...

PoetrySoup is a small privately owned website. Our means of support comes from advertising revenue. We want to keep PoetrySoup alive, make it better, and keep it free. Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on PoetrySoup. See how to enable ads while keeping your ad blocker active. Also, did you know you can become a PoetrySoup Lifetime Premium Member and block ads forever...while getting many more great features. Take a look! Thank you!
Get Your Premium Membership


The Cumberland

by
AT anchor in Hampton Roads we lay, 
On board of the Cumberland, sloop-of-war; 
And at times from the fortress across the bay 
The alarum of drums swept past, 
Or a bugle blast 5 
From the camp on the shore.
Then far away to the south uprose A little feather of snow-white smoke, And we knew that the iron ship of our foes Was steadily steering its course 10 To try the force Of our ribs of oak.
Down upon us heavily runs, Silent and sullen, the floating fort; Then comes a puff of smoke from her guns, 15 And leaps the terrible death, With fiery breath, From each open port.
We are not idle, but send her straight Defiance back in a full broadside! 20 As hail rebounds from a roof of slate, Rebounds our heavier hail From each iron scale Of the monster's hide.
"Strike your flag!" the rebel cries, 25 In his arrogant old plantation strain.
"Never!" our gallant Morris replies; "It is better to sink than to yield!" And the whole air pealed With the cheers of our men.
30 Then, like a kraken huge and black, She crushed our ribs in her iron grasp! Down went the Cumberland all a wrack, With a sudden shudder of death, And the cannon's breath 35 For her dying gasp.
Next morn, as the sun rose over the bay, Still floated our flag at the mainmast head.
Lord, how beautiful was Thy day! Every waft of the air 40 Was a whisper of prayer, Or a dirge for the dead.
Ho! brave hearts that went down in the seas! Ye are at peace in the troubled stream; Ho! brave land! with hearts like these, 45 Thy flag, that is rent in twain, Shall be one again, And without a seam!

Poem by
Biography | Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes | Email Poem - The CumberlandEmail Poem | Create an image from this poem

Poems are below...


Top Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Poems

Analysis and Comments on The Cumberland

Provide your analysis, explanation, meaning, interpretation, and comments on the poem The Cumberland here.