cheering with a hearty good-will;
and well they might, for we had almost won the day, and we were nearly past the
forts. Our ship had been on fire three times, and she was riddled from stem to
stern. The cabin was completely gutted, the starboard steerage all torn up, and
the armory all knocked into "pi." My clothing was strewn abaft decks, and I was
obliged to pick it up piece by piece. The manuscript of the bombardment came
near to destruction by a rifle shell, which tore up my room and killed one man.
After being under a terrific fire
for one hour and twenty minutes we were past the forts, badly cut up; a shot
hole through mainmast, two in stern, and several through us. I frankly confess I
am unable to describe the scene. Words can not express any adequate idea of the
engagement. Wrapped up in smoke, firing and bring fired at, shot and shell
whistling like locomotive demons around, above, before, and in the rear of you ;
flames from fire-rafts encircling you, splinters flying in all directions, and
shells bunting overhead! Can you imagine this scene? If you can, it is more than
I can describe as I would wish to.
THOU lion-fronted, royal man!
Thou of the swerveless lightning
glance, Whose thunderous eloquence outran,
O'ertopped, the minds it did
entrance; Oh man! made regal by thy might
The many-chorded soul to smite!
The lowly path was not for thee.
Thy mental stature towered above
The wondering eyes upraised to see
The man whose tone and glance
A people's heart to love or hate;
Whose touch could guide it like a
The glory of his life was set
Unto a measure high and grand;
The lofty anthem lingers yet
In haunting echoes through the
land; And, greeted with a triumph tone,
He stood, a conqueror—alone !
He fell—and, lo! a mighty wail,
A cry, sublime in grief and
strength, Proclaimed the giant lying pale,
His mighty power undone at
And for that wondrous man and
strong Went up a nation's funeral song!
For him a high applauding tone
Shall linger in the halls of
Time. Even as he stood—he fell—alone
A warrior in a strife sublime.
A nation raised his burial stone—
He will not sleep unsung, unknown.