Shiloh: A Requiem

(1946)

Melville's poem "Shiloh: A Requiem" was written about the Civil War, but Weisgall's song dates from the post-World War II era. "Shiloh: A Requiem" is a song from Weisgall's song cycle Soldier Songs.

Shiloh: A Requiem
by Herman Melville


Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
\tThe swallows fly low
Over the fields in clouded days,
\tThe forest-field of Shiloh –
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
\tAround the church of Shiloh—
The church, so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
\t\tAnd natural prayer
\tOf dying foemen mingled there –
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve –
Fame or country least their care:
\t(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
\t\tBut now they lie low,
\tWhile over them the swallows skim,
\t\tAnd all is hushed at Shiloh.


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