At Appomattox

Ah, Dixie! Yes, the tune still rings so true;
I reckon back to when those notes were young. . .
As we once were, young and strong, full of hope.
We rallied to that tune; marched, drank to it —
For what? To hear her lonesome voice, so faint,
Mock the thousands that sang in years gone by?
Our bold and brilliant spirits dampened now,
Our battlecry becomes a funeral dirge.
Such has been the fate of that dear old song
That rose from lips and hearts alike each day.
Oh, to keep it from my memory — my mind!
Not to see, with eyes of sorrow, those men
With bleeding feet and weary, bleeding hearts
Marching endlessly to achieve that end
That never was within their desperate grasp. . .
I hear the whispers, scamp’ring here and there;
Our cause has suffered wounds that naught can heal. . .
The rumors fly like vultures oér the men —
Surrender. Dixie, has it come to this?
I thought that song could carry our dear dream —
I thought that flag could bring us nearer home!
Our hope is dead, as all those faithful men.
Ah, see — dear old Dixie’s tune fades away. . .
Our dream — it fades, and leaves a stillness here,
An emptiness. . . a void, between the lines.


One Response

  1. “At Appomattox” is partly due to a painting I saw of the Confederate forces furling their flag. Their faces reflected the sorrow they must have felt(and which I tried to show)when they surrendered to the Union army. I love Civil War history, and have visited Appomattox Court House itself, which also contributed to the poem.

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