A Requiem

by Herman Melville


Skimming Lightly, Wheeling Still,

The Swallows fly low

Over the field in cloudy days,

The forest-fields 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.

Herman Melville

April, 1862