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Spirit Whose Work Is Done.

Part of the cluster DRUM-TAPS.


(Washington City, 1865.) SPIRIT whose work is done! spirit of dreadful hours! Ere, departing, fade from my eyes your forests of bayo- 
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  
While I look on the bayonets bristling over their shoul- 
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  
—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.

Part of the cluster DRUM-TAPS.

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