1] On July 21, 1861, a Union Army of 35,00 soldiers under General Irvin McDowell advanced from Washington against Confederate forces, 22,000 men led by General Pierre G.T. Beauregard, and met at Manassas Junction, Virginia, on the banks of a stream called Bull Run. With nearly 3000 dead, one thousand more than the Conferate army, the Union army retreated in disorder, defeated in the first battle of the Civil War. lets: obstacles.
22] Bacchic: drunken, after the Roman god of wine.
23] Moloch: Old Testament heathen god to whom children were sacrificed (Leviticus 18.21).
35] adamant: the hardest of stones.
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: Collected Poems of Herman Melville, ed. Howard P. Vincent (Chicago: Packard, 1947): 10-11. PS 2382 V5 Robarts Library
First publication date: 1866
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2003
Recent editing: 1:2003/6/2
Rhyme: ababacdcdad ...
Other poems by Herman Melville