by Herman Melville (1819 - 1891)

The Fall of Richmond 
Language: English 
What mean these peals from every tower,
  And crowds like seas that sway?
The cannon reply; they speak the heart 
  Of the People impassioned, and say -- 
A city in flags for a city in flames,
  Richmond goes Babylon's way --
          Sing and pray.

O weary years and woeful wars,
  And armies in the grave;
But hearts unquelled at last deter 
The helmed dilated Lucifer --
  Honor to Grant the brave,
Whose three stars now like Orion's rise
  When wreck is on the wave --
        Bless his glaive.

Well that the faith we firmly kept,
  And never our aim forswore 
For the Terrors that trooped from each recess 
When fainting we fought in the Wilderness,
  And Hell made loud hurrah;
But God is in Heaven, and Grant in the Town,
  And Right through might is Law --
        God's way adore.

Confirmed with Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War by Herman Melville, New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, Franklin Square, 1866, pages 135-136.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2014-01-10
Line count: 23
Word count: 135