Melville on War

by Meia Geddes

Read about Herman Melville and consider Battlepieces and Aspects of the War (free Google eBook). Here is an excerpt from “The March into Virginia”

Did all the lets and bars appear
      To every just or larger end,
Whence should come the trust and cheer?
      Youth must its ignorant impulse lend—
Age finds place in the rear.
      All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys,
The champions and enthusiasts of the state:
      Turbid ardors and vain joys
            Not barrenly abate—
Stimulants to the power mature,
      Preparatives of fate.