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John Marr and Other Poems   By: (1819-1891)

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JOHN MARR AND OTHER POEMS

By

HERMAN MELVILLE

With An Introductory Note By HENRY CHAPIN

MCMXXII

Introductory Note

Melville's verse printed for the most part privately in small editions from middle life onward after his great prose work had been written, taken as a whole, is of an amateurish and uneven quality. In it, however, that loveable freshness of personality, which his philosophical dejection never quenched, is everywhere in evidence. It is clear that he did not set himself to master the poet's art, yet through the mask of conventional verse which often falls into doggerel, the voice of a true poet is heard. In selecting the pieces for this volume I have put in the vigorous sea verses of John Marr in their entirety and added those others from his Battle Pieces , Timoleon, etc., that best indicate the quality of their author's personality. The prose supplement to battle pieces has been included because it does so much to explain the feeling of his war verse and further because it is such a remarkably wise and clear commentary upon those confused and troublous days of post war reconstruction. H. C.

CONTENTS

Introductory Note

John Marr And Other Poems JOHN MARR AND OTHER SAILORS BRIDEGROOM DICK TOM DEADLIGHT JACK ROY

Sea Pieces THE HAGLETS THE AEOLIAN HARP TO THE MASTER OF THE "METEOR" FAR OFF SHORE THE MAN OF WAR HAWK THE FIGURE HEAD THE GOOD CRAFT "SNOW BIRD" OLD COUNSEL THE TUFT OF KELP THE MALDIVE SHARK TO NED CROSSING THE TROPICS THE BERG THE ENVIABLE ISLES PEBBLES

Poems From Timoleon LINES TRACED UNDER AN IMAGE OF AMOR THREATENING THE NIGHT MARCH THE RAVAGED VILLA THE NEW ZEALOT TO THE SUN MONODY LONE FOUNTS THE BENCH OF BOORS ART THE ENTHUSIAST SHELLEY'S VISION THE MARCHIONESS OF BRINVILLIERS THE AGE OF THE ANTONINES HERBA SANTA OFF CAPE COLONNA THE APPARITION L' ENVOI

Supplement

Poems From Battle Pieces THE PORTENT FROM THE CONFLICT OF CONVICTIONS THE MARCH INTO VIRGINIA BALL'S BLUFF THE STONE FLEET THE "TEMERAIRE" A UTILITARIAN VIEW OF THE "MONITOR'S" FIGHT MALVERN HILL STONEWALL JACKSON THE HOUSE TOP CHATTANOOGA ON THE PHOTOGRAPH OF A CORPS COMMANDER THE SWAMP ANGEL SHERIDAN AT CEDAR CREEK IN THE PRISON PEN THE COLLEGE COLONEL THE MARTYR REBEL COLOR BEARERS AT SHILOH AURORA BOREALIS THE RELEASED REBEL PRISONER "FORMERLY A SLAVE" ON THE SLAIN COLLEGIANS AMERICA INSCRIPTION THE FORTITUDE OF THE NORTH THE MOUND BY THE LAKE ON THE SLAIN AT CHICKAMAUGA AN UNINSCRIBED MONUMENT ON THE GRAVE OF A YOUNG CAVALRY OFFICER KILLED IN THE VALLEY OF VIRGINIA A REQUIEM COMMEMORATIVE OF A NAVAL VICTORY A MEDITATION

Poems From Mardi WE FISH INVOCATION DIRGE MARLENA PIPE SONG SONG OF YOOMY GOLD THE LAND OF LOVE

Poems From Clarel DIRGE EPILOGUE

JOHN MARR AND OTHER SAILORS

JOHN MARR AND OTHER SAILORS

Since as in night's deck watch ye show, Why, lads, so silent here to me, Your watchmate of times long ago? Once, for all the darkling sea, You your voices raised how clearly, Striking in when tempest sung; Hoisting up the storm sail cheerly, Life is storm let storm! you rung. Taking things as fated merely, Childlike though the world ye spanned; Nor holding unto life too dearly, Ye who held your lives in hand Skimmers, who on oceans four Petrels were, and larks ashore.

O, not from memory lightly flung, Forgot, like strains no more availing, The heart to music haughtier strung; Nay, frequent near me, never staleing, Whose good feeling kept ye young. Like tides that enter creek or stream, Ye come, ye visit me, or seem Swimming out from seas of faces, Alien myriads memory traces, To enfold me in a dream!

I yearn as ye. But rafts that strain, Parted, shall they lock again? Twined we were, entwined, then riven, Ever to new embracements driven, Shifting gulf weed of the main! And how if one here shift no more, Lodged by the flinging surge ashore? Nor less, as now, in eve's decline, Your shadowy fellowship is mine... Continue reading book >>




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