John Hay

8 October 1838 – 1 July 1905 / Salem, Indiana


After Stuart Merrill

Trembling of purple banners in the fight,
Wild neigh of horses in destruction's path,
Howling of trumpets answering yells of wrath,
Dim eyes where slowly fades the living light;
And on the plains, the ghastly heaped up death
O'er which the guns thunder their dull refrain;
And summer is shamed and autumn grieves in rain,
And carnage breathes abroad a hateful breath.
Back! O thou nightmare of the tired world's rest!
The Spring sees blooming at the mother's breast
Pink mouths of babes with cooing laughter rife;
While from the valley to the mountain springs,
Amid the rustle of zephyrs and of wings,
Sound, like young heart-beats, all the bells of Life.
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