On The Slain At Chickamauga

A poem by Herman Melville

Happy are they and charmed in life
Who through long wars arrive unscarred
At peace. To such the wreath be given,
If they unfalteringly have striven--
In honor, as in limb, unmarred.
Let cheerful praise be rife,
And let them live their years at ease,
Musing on brothers who victorious died--
Loved mates whose memory shall ever please.

And yet mischance is honorable too--
Seeming defeat in conflict justified
Whose end to closing eyes is hid from view.
The will, that never can relent--
The aim, survivor of the bafflement,
Make this memorial due.

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