An Uninscribed Monument

A poem by Herman Melville

On one of the Battle-fields of the Wilderness

Silence and solitude may hint
(Whose home is in yon piney wood)
What I, though tableted, could never tell--
The din which here befell,
And striving of the multitude.
The iron cones and spheres of death
Set round me in their rust,
These, too, if just,
Shall speak with more than animated breath.
Thou who beholdest, if thy thought,
Not narrowed down to personal cheer,
Take in the import of the quiet here--
The after-quiet--the calm full fraught;
Thou too wilt silent stand--
Silent as I, and lonesome as the land.

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