Civil War Poem

"Shiloh, A Requiem"


by_ Herman Melville


~ April, 1862 ~

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,

The swallows fly low

Over the fields in cloudy days,

The forest-field of Shiloh--

Over the field where April rain

Solaced the parched one stretched in pain

Through the pause of night

That followed the Sunday fight

Around the church of Shiloh--

The church, so lone, the log-built one,

That echoed to many a parting groan

And natural prayer

Of dying foeman mingled there--

Foeman at morn, but friends at eve--

Fame or country least their care:

(What like a bullet can undeceive!)

But now they lie low,

While over them the swallows skim,

And all is hushed at Shiloh.

The Old Shiloh (Log Cabin) Church

(During the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, church services and war decisions were made in the cabin)