Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FREDERICKSBURG, by THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

FREDERICKSBURG, by             Poem Explanation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: The increasing moonlight drifts across my bed
Last Line: Hark! -- the black squadrons wheeling down to death!
Subject(s): American Civil War; Fredericksburg, Battle Of (1862); Holidays; Memorial Day; United States - History; Declaration Day

THE increasing moonlight drifts across my bed,
And on the churchyard by the road, I know
It falls as white and noiselessly as snow....
'T was such a night two weary summers fled;
The stars, as now, were waning overhead.
Listen! Again the shrill-lipped bugles blow
Where the swift currents of the river flow
Past Fredericksburg; far off the heavens are red
With sudden conflagration: on yon height,
Linstock in hand, the gunners hold their breath;
A signal-rocket pierces the dense night,
Flings its spent stars upon the town beneath:
Hark! -- the artillery massing on the right,
Hark! -- the black squadrons wheeling down to Death!

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