A Utilitarian View Of The Monitor's Fight


Plain be the phrase, yet apt the verse,
  More ponderous than nimble;
For since grimed War here laid aside
His Orient pomp, 'twould ill befit
      Overmuch to ply
  The rhyme's barbaric cymbal.
Hail to victory without the gaud
  Of glory; zeal that needs no fans
Of banners; plain mechanic power
Plied cogently in War now placed—
      Where War belongs—
  Among the trades and artisans.
Yet this was battle, and intense—
  Beyond the strife of fleets heroic;
Deadlier, closer, calm 'mid storm;
No passion; all went on by crank,
      Pivot, and screw,
  And calculations of caloric.
Needless to dwell; the story's known.
  The ringing of those plates on plates
Still ringeth round the world—
The clangor of that blacksmiths' fray.
      The anvil-din
  Resounds this message from the Fates:
War shall yet be, and to the end;
  But war-paint shows the streaks of weather;
War yet shall be, but warriors
Are now but operatives; War's made
      Less grand than Peace,
  And a singe runs through lace and feather.


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