Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SINKING OF THE MERRIMAC [MAY 10, 1862], by LUCY LARCOM



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THE SINKING OF THE MERRIMAC [MAY 10, 1862], by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Gone down in the flood, and gone out in the flame!
Last Line: Then sink them together, -- the ship and the name!
Subject(s): American Civil War; Sea Battles; United States - History; Virginia (Ship); Naval Warfare; Merrimac (Ship)


GONE down in the flood, and gone out in the flame!
What else could she do, with her fair Northern name?
Her font was a river whose last drop is free:
That river ran boiling with wrath to the sea,
To hear of her baptismal blessing profaned;
A name that was Freedom's, by treachery stained.
'T was the voice of our free Northern mountains that broke
In the sound of her guns, from her stout ribs of oak:
'T was the might of the free Northern hand you could feel
In her sweep and her moulding, from topmast to keel:
When they made her speak treason (does Hell know of worse?),
How her strong timbers shook with the shame of her curse!

Let her go! Should a deck so polluted again
Ever ring to the tread of our true Northern men?
Let the suicide-ship thunder forth, to the air
And the sea she has blotted, her groan of despair!
Let her last heat of anguish throb out into flame!
Then sink them together, -- the ship and the name!





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