Anapestic

I.

In the silence of night, and in solemn array, by the glimmer of torches, is wheeling,
Majestic, the funeral train, on its way, and its music is plaintively stealing, —
Is plaintively stealing, in echoes, afar, awaking emotions of sorrow;
It mourns, how the youth march to-day to the war, but return to us never to-morrow.

Spear and buckler reversed, slow the army moves on, its standards and banners low trailing:
Not a shout now is heard for the victory won; all is hushed, but the flute softly wailing.
Light and still glide their steps, and in unison all, attuned to their solemn emotion;
One faint, hollow murmur is heard at each fall, like the far-echoed roar of the ocean.

Home, in urns, they are bearing the dust of the dead, dark veils o'er each urn low depending:
How sacred the relics of those who have bled, for hearth and for altar contending!
Not a trophy they rear, till they lay in the tomb, the ashes that sleep there in glory, —
Till their pæans are sung, and the words that illume, transmit their proud record to story.

So on through the streets of the city they move, and the old and the young there attend them:
They meet them with greetings of sorrow and love, — fondly welcome the brave who defend them;
And they weep from their hearts, as each urn passes by, a child or a parent enclosing:
As he left them, his patriot bosom beat high; now in death he is darkly reposing.

II.

O, waken the music of battle!
Let the clash of the cymbals ring loudly,
As the spears on the shields dash and rattle,
When onward the youth rushes proudly:
Let the horn and the trumpet, resounding
In long rolling echoes, inspire us,
Till our hearts like the billow are bounding,
And omens of victory fire us.

Hark the shout! — far its echo is rolling;
Eleleu! Eleleu! swells it onward:
Sword and shield clang in time, high controlling
Each hero, quick hurrying vanward.
On the foe moves in line, firm and steady,
To the soft breath of flutes slow advancing;
Drawn each sword, poised each spear, all are ready;
Bright the sun on their plumed helms is glancing.

To the charge! like the rush of the ocean, —
Like torrents, from mountain-tops dashing
Down the gulf, where, in mingled commotion,
Crag and wood 'mid the white flood are crashing.
Hark the shock! shield on shield rings, rebounding:
As a rock firmly set, they repel it.
On again, louder Eleleus sounding;
Ours such fire, not the Spartan can quell it.
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