University of Virginia Library



When Sherman's March was over
And June was green and bright,
She came among our mountains,
A freak of new delight;
Provokingly our banner
Salutes with Dixie's strain,—
Little rebel from Savannah,
Three Colonels in her train.
Three bearded Puritan colonels:
But O her eyes, her mouth—
Magnolias in their languor
And sorcery of the South.
High-handed rule of beauty,
Are wars for man but vain?
Behold, three disenslavers
Themselves embrace a chain!


But, loveliest invader,
Out of Dixie did ye rove
By sallies of your raillery
To rally us, or move?
For under all your merriment
There lurked a minor tone;
And of havoc we had tidings
And a roof-tree overthrown.
Ah, nurtured in the trial—
And ripened by the storm,
Was your gaiety your courage,
And levity its form?
O'er your future's darkling waters,
O'er your past, a frozen tide,
Like the petrel would you skim it,
Like the glancing skater glide?
But the ravisher has won her
Who the wooers three did slight;
To his fastness he has borne her
By the trail that leads thro' night.
With Peace she came, the rainbow,
And like a Bow did pass,
The balsam-trees exhaling,
And tear-drops in the grass.


Now laughed the leafage over
Her pranks in woodland scene:
Hath left us for the revel
Deep in Paradise the green?
In truth we will believe it
Under pines that sigh a balm,
Though o'er thy stone be trailing
Cypress-moss that drapes the palm.