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POETRY

LYRICAL, NARRATIVE, AND SATIRICAL

OF

THE CIVIL WAR

SELECTED AND EDITED

By RICHARD GRANT WHITE

NEW YORK
THE AMERICAN NEWS COMPANY.

119 & 121 Nassau STREET

1866

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by

THE AMERICAN News COMPANY, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the

Southern District of New York.

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PREFACE.

T is generally true that great events do not

inspire great poems. Upon the Reformation,

the Cromwellian Rebellion, the French Revolution, our own War of Independence, nothing important and enduring has been written in verse. Barlow's “ Columbiad ” is a fair type of the poetry produced upon such subjects. There is little hope for a poem, if the poet trusts for the interest of his work to the dignity of his theme. To the poet pertains the power of elevating his subject ; nay, the very essence of his poetry is in that elevation, - in his adding himself to his subject. The choice of a great event as the theme for a poem is unwise, because the poet can hardly fail to fall short of the mental elevation produced by the relation of such an event in simple prose. He will find himself compelled to assume the position of a decorator rather than that of a creator; and his decorations will only call attention to their littleness and the grandeur of the reality to which they have been appended. The “Iliad,” and the “ Gerusalemme Liberata,” are not exceptions to this rule; and the - Paradise Lost” may be one only in seeming. It

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