Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CUMBERLAND, by HERMAN MELVILLE



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THE CUMBERLAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Some names there are of telling sound
Last Line: Cumberland! Cumberland!
Subject(s): American Civil War; Cumberland (Ship); Hampton Roads, Virginia; Sea Battles; United States - History; Virginia (Ship); Naval Warfare; Merrimac (Ship)


SOME names there are of telling sound,
Whose vowelled syllables free
Are pledge that they shall ever live renowned;
Such seems to be
A Frigate's name (by present glory spanned) --
The Cumberland.
Sounding name as e'er was sung,
Flowing, rolling on the tongue --
Cumberland! Cumberland!

She warred and sunk. There's no denying
That she was ended -- quelled;
And yet her flag above her fate is flying,
As when it swelled
Unswallowed by the swallowing sea: so grand --
The Cumberland.
Goodly name as e'er was sung,
Roundly rolling on the tongue --
Cumberland! Cumberland!

What need to tell how she was fought --
The sinking flaming gun --
The gunner leaping out the port --
Washed back, undone!
Her dead unconquerably manned
The Cumberland.
Noble name as e'er was sung,
Slowly roll it on the tongue --
Cumberland! Cumberland!

Long as hearts shall share the flame
Which burned in that brave crew,
Her fame shall live -- outlive the victor's name;
For this is due.
Your flag and flag-staff shall in story stand --
Cumberland!
Sounding name as e'er was sung,
Long they'll roll it on the tongue --
Cumberland! Cumberland!





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