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Short poem

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)


              1THE bronze General Grant riding a bronze horse in Linc-
      oln Park
              2Shrivels in the sun by day when the motor cars whirr
     by in long processions going somewhere to keep ap-
     pointment for dinner and matineés and buying and
              3Though in the dusk and nightfall when high waves are
              4On the slabs of the promenade along the lake shore near
              5  I have seen the general dare the combers come closer
              6And make to ride his bronze horse out into the hoofs
     and guns of the storm.

              7I cross Lincoln Park on a winter night when the snow
     is falling.
              8Lincoln in bronze stands among the white lines of snow,
     his bronze forehead meeting soft echoes of the new-
     sies crying forty thousand men are dead along the
     Yser, his bronze ears listening to the mumbled roar
     of the city at his bronze feet.
              9A lithe Indian on a bronze pony, Shakespeare seated with
     long legs in bronze, Garibaldi in a bronze cape, they
     hold places in the cold, lonely snow to-night on their
     pedestals and so they will hold them past midnight
     and into the dawn.


1] General Grant: Ulysses S. Grant (1822-85), commander general of the victorious union armies in the American civil war, and 18th President of the United States.
Lincoln Park. 19th-century English style rolling park along 5 miles of Chicago's lakefront.

5] combers: curling waves.

8] the Yser: river flowing through France and Belgium into the South Sea.

9] Garibaldi: Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-82), revolutionary leader in the liberation and unification of Italy under King Victor Emmanuel in 1861.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Carl Sandburg, Chicago Poems (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1916), pp. 56-57. PS 3537 A618C5 1916 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1916
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 4:2002/3/7

Form: Free Verse

Other poems by Carl Sandburg