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SPIRIT WHOSE WORK IS DONE.

(Washington City, 1865.)

SPIRIT whose work is done! spirit of dreadful hours!
Ere, departing, fade from my eyes your forests of bayo-
nets;
Spirit of gloomiest fears and doubts, (yet onward ever
unfaltering pressing;)
Spirit of many a solemn day, and many a savage scene!
Electric spirit!
That with muttering voice, through the war now closed,
like a tireless phantom flitted,
Rousing the land with breath of flame, while you beat
and beat the drum;
—Now, as the sound of the drum, hollow and harsh to
the last, reverberates round me;
As your ranks, your immortal ranks, return, return
from the battles;
While the muskets of the young men yet lean over their
shoulders;
While I look on the bayonets bristling over their shoul-
ders;
While those slanted bayonets, whole forests of them,
appearing in the distance, approach and pass
on, returning homeward,
Moving with steady motion, swaying to and fro, to the
right and left,
Evenly, lightly rising and falling, as the steps keep
time:
—Spirit of hours I knew, all hectic red one day, but
pale as death next day;
Touch my mouth, ere you depart—press my lips close!
Leave me your pulses of rage! bequeath them to me!
fill me with currents convulsive!
Let them scorch and blister out of my chants, when you
are gone;
Let them identify you to the future, in these songs.

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