THE PORTENT (1859) - Herman Melville Poems


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Hanging from the beam,
    Slowly swaying (such the law),
Gaunt the shadow on your green,
The cut is on the crown
    (Lo, John Brown),
And the stabs shall heal no more.

Hidden in the cap
    Is the anguish none can draw;
So your future veils its face,
But the streaming beard is shown
    (Weird John Brown),
The meteor of the war.