QUESTIONS, i. To whom is the poet speaking? 2. What literary
reminiscences are used in the description of the mocking bird ?
3. Which of these is the most pleasing, and why? 4. Compare this
tribute to the mocking bird with other poems on the same subject
found in this volume.
HENRY ROOTES JACKSON
THE RED OLD HILLS OF GEORGIA (PAGE 213)
QUESTIONS, i. What aspects of Georgia scenery are referred to?
2. What characteristics of Southerners are mentioned ? 3. Is it typical
of the Southern people that they are home lovers ? 4. Does this poem
well express such a feeling ?
MY WIFE AND CHILD (PAGE 215)
By a curious confusion this poem came to be attributed to General
T. J. (" Stonewall") Jackson and is supposed to have been written by
him during the Civil War. It was, however, written in 1846 by Henry
Rootes Jackson while in the Mexican campaign.
QUESTIONS, i. Note the picture of the camp in the first stanza.
2. What glimpses of home life are given in the subsequent stanzas ?
3. What prayer does the poet make for his wife and child ?
496 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE
JAMES MATTHEWS LEGARE" *
To A LILY (PAGE 217)
Venus : reference is to the legend that Venus rose first from the
foam of the sea.
QUESTIONS, i. What comparisons does the poet make between the
lily and his beloved ? 2. Does the poem seem sincere in its sentiment ?
HAW BLOSSOMS (PAGE 217)
QUESTIONS, i. What scene is described in the first five stanzas?
2. What meditations on this scene are given in the next seven stanzas ?
3. What lesson is brought out in the last two stanzas ?
WILLIAM GILMORE SIMMS
OH, THE SWEET SOUTH (PAGE 220)
QUESTIONS, i. What is the thought of the first stanza? 2. What
characteristics of the South are mentioned in the second stanza ?
THE SWAMP Fox (PAGE 222)
This poem is found in Simms s historical romance " The Partisan."
The Swamp Fox was a common designation for General Francis
Marion, a Revolutionary leader in South Carolina, whose shrewdness
in attack and escape won this nickname.
Tarleton : a distinguished leader of the British forces in the South
during the Revolutionary War. Santee : Marion s principal field
of operations lay between the Santee and the Peedee rivers. The
Colonel : at this time Marion held the rank of colonel. Subsequently
he was advanced to the rank of general. cooter : a Southern col
loquialism for a fresh-water tortoise or turtle.
QUESTIONS, i. What details of the life of Marion and his men are
mentioned ? 2. Compare this poem with Bryant s " Song of Marion s
1 Pronounced Legarce,
EDGAR ALLAN POE
To HELEN (PAGE 225)
This poem is a tribute of devotion to his boyhood friend, Mrs.
Stannard. This lady s name was Jane, but Poe has given her in the
poem the name of " Helen " as more fitting his tribute to her as a classic
embodiment of beauty.
beauty : the beauty of Helen of Troy. Nicean barks : it is impos
sible to say exactly what this allusion means. It is altogether likely that
Poe has here simply used some word of his own formed with a vague
suggestion of antiquity. wanderer : Odysseus, or Ulysses. hyacinth :
lovely as Hyacinthus, favorite of Apollo. Naiad : a nymph who pre
sided over lakes, brooks, and fountains. The term is therefore sugges
tive of exquisite grace. Psyche : the Greek word for " soul " and
also the name of a beautiful maiden whom Cupid loved and wedded.
QUESTIONS, i. Is this poem notable for its thought or for its grace
of delicacy? 2. Lines 9 and 10 are two of Poe s best-known and most
frequently quoted lines. Explain the fitness of the words " glory " and
ISRAFEL (PAGE 227)
"Whose heart-strings are a lute " : Israfel, the angel of music, was
supposed to have the sweetest voice of all God s creatures. hymns :
the reference is to " the music of the spheres " which the stars were
supposed to make in their courses, levin : lightning. Pleiads : Poe
here refers to the legend of a lost Pleiad by his use of the past tense,
" Which were seven." Where Love s a grown-up God : Poe seems to
think of the god of love, usually represented as a boy, as grown to full
manhood in heaven, for love becomes perfect there.
QUESTIONS, i. What is the vision of power that the poet has, and
what dismays him ? 2. Compare the closing thought with that of
Shelley s " To a Skylark."
THE RAVEN (PAGE 228)
Poe has fully set forth his methods and his purpose in this poem in
the essay entitled " Philosophy of Composition."
lost Lenore : Poe is said to have told Mrs. A. B. Shelton, formerly
Miss Royster (his first sweetheart, whose father brought the love
498 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE
affair to speedy termination), that she was the Lenore of " The Raven."
Raven : frequently in literature a bird of ill ome,n. Pallas : Min
erva, goddess of wisdom. Plutonian : characteristic of Pluto, god of
the underworld, where utter darkness reigned.
"Wretch": the lover addresses himself. nepenthe: a drink
thought by the ancients to banish sorrow ; later it came to mean any
thing that quieted physical or mental anguish, as, for instance, opium.
balm in Gilead : a Biblical phrase signifying remedy or consolation
for sorrow. Aidenn : a form for Eden coined by Poe for the rime.
the lamplight o er him streaming : in answer to criticism of this line
Poe explained, " My conception was that of the bracket candelabrum
affixed against the wall, high up above the door and bust."
QUESTIONS. I. Reconstruct the dramatic situation. 2. According to
Poe the interpretation of the poem was to be found by taking the fact
that the Raven stood for " Mournful and Never-ending remembrance "
in connection with lines 101, 107, and 108. With this clue explain the
significance of the poem.
ULALUME (PAGE 233)
This poem was published in December, 1847. As Poe s wife had died
under distressing circumstances in the preceding January, the poem
evidently is an expression of the poet s mood under his bereavement.
Auber: coined by Poe. Weir: coined by Poe for the sake of
rime. Psyche: the Greek word for soul. scoriae rivers: rivers of
lava. Yaanek : another of Poe s specially coined words. boreal pole :
probably the Antarctic regions. senescent : growing old. Astarte :
the moon goddess of the Phoenicians. crescent: suggestive of hope.
Dian : the moon goddess of the Romans, who was chaste and cold
to the advances of lovers. where the worm never dies : an expression
from the Bible implying the gnawing of the unending grief. stars of
the Lion : the constellation Leo. Lethean : with the power of the
river Lethe in Hades, which, according to classical mythology, induced
forgetfulness. sibyllic : mysterious. The Sibyls in classical mythol
ogy were priestesses of Apollo who were inspired to utter mysterious
prophecies. legended : with an inscription.
QUESTION. This poem has been commonly regarded as a mere ex
periment in verbal melody with very little meaning. Bearing in mind
what was said above as to the circumstances of the composition of the
poem, endeavor to interpret the poem as an expression of the poet s
feeling at that time.
ANNABEL LEE (PAGE 237)
This poem was published in the New York Tribune two days after
Toe s death, and is one of his last poems. According to general
acceptance Annabel Lee stands for the poet s \vife, who had died about
three years before.
highborn kinsmen : the angels who took Poe s wife from him.
QUESTIONS, i. This poem has more definiteness of incident than
Foe s poems usually show. What are the details of the incident ?
Should the sentiment be called morbid? 2. What qualities make this
one of the most popular of Poe s poems ?
ELDORADO (PAGE 238)
This poem is another one of the last of Poe s poems.
Eldorado : a fabled city or country abounding in gold and precious
stones. Figuratively the word is used to denote any place of great
wealth. Poe evidently uses the word in the sense of the poet s kingdom.
QUESTIONS, i. Explain the meaning of the poem. 2. Can it be said
to apply to Poe s life ?
Other Poets. To the various states named belong the following poets who
have not been represented in this book but who have attained some reputation
in and beyond their respective states. Maty land : Charles Henry Wharton
(1748- ), John Shaw (1778-1809), Severn Teackle Wallis (1816-1894), George
Henry Miles (1824-1871); Virginia: William Munford (1775-1825), William
Maxwell (1784-1857), Richard Dabney (1787-1825), Henry Throop Stanton
(1834-1899); South Carolina: Caroline Howard Oilman (1794-1888), Mary
E. Lee (1813-1849), Catherine Gendron Poyas (1813-1882); North Carolina:
Mary Bayard Clarke (1827-1886), Theophilus Hunter Hill (1836-1901), Edwin
Wiley Fuller (1847-1875); Kentucky: George Denison Prentice (1802-1870),
Amelia Welby (1819-1852) ; West Virginia : Daniel Bedinger Lucas (1836- ):
Alabama: Augustus J. Requier (1825-1887). Mississippi: Rosa Vertner Jef
frey (1826-1894); Georgia: Thomas Holley Chivers (1807-1858).
PART II. POETRY OF THE CIVIL WAR
JAMES RYDER RANDALL
MY MARYLAND (PAGE 240)
This poem was written while the author was teaching in Louisiana. In
April, 1861. he read in one of the New Orleans newspapers an account
of how the Massachusetts troops had been fired upon in their passage
500 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE
through his native city, Baltimore. Unable to sleep in his excitement
over the occurrence, he rose at midnight and hastily composed this poem.
Carroll : Charles Carroll of Carrollton, one of the signers of the
Declaration of Independence. Howard: John Eager Howard, a dis
tinguished Revolutionary soldier. Ringgold : Samuel Ringgold, who
was killed in the Mexican War at the battle of Palo Alto. Watson :
William Henry Watson, a colonel in the Mexican War who was killed
at Monterey. Lowe: Enoch Lewis Lowe, a soldier in the Mexican
War and later governor of Maryland. May : Charles Augustus May,
a distinguished leader at the battle of Monterey. Sic semper: the
full form of the Latin motto is Sic semper tyrannis, "Thus always to
tyrants." Vandal : a term for the Northerners.
QUESTIONS, i. What lines of the poem show the immediate motive
for its writing? 2. What is the basis of the poet s appeal to Maryland
to join the Southern cause ? 3. Is it an appeal simply to feeling or is
it an appeal to reason ?
JOHN PELHAM (PAGE 243)
The hero celebrated in this poem was a young Alabamian who,
although barely twenty-two, had signally distinguished himself in the
Confederate army. His death in the cavalry fight at Kelly s Ford,
March 17, 1863, caused profound grief throughout the army.
Marcellus : the nephew and son-in-law of the Emperor Augustus,
and his intended successor, who met an untimely death.
QUESTIONS, i. What references are made to Pelham s career?
2. What tribute is paid to him ?
DIXIE (PAGE 244)
This poem is perhaps the best of many written in the South to the
stirring tune " Dixie." It of course bears no relation to the insig
nificant words that the tune originally had.
QUESTION. By what means does the poet make his appeal ?
THE BONNIE BLUE FLAG (PAGE 246)
Like " Dixie " this famous song originated in the theater and first
became popular in New Orleans in 1861.
JOHN ESTEN COOKE
THE BAND IN THE PINES (PAGE 247)
For note in regard to Pelham see page 498.
QUESTIONS, i. What does the poet mean by the "band in the pine
wood " ? 2. What is the central thought of the poem ?
JOHN REUBEN THOMPSON
ASH BY (PAGE 249)
dragoon : Turner Ashby was a dashing brigadier general of cavalry.
He was killed in a skirmish near Harrisonburg, Virginia, in 1862.
Paynim : pagan. Templestowe : the place where occurred the
tournament described in the forty-third chapter of " Ivanhoe."
Music IN CAMP (PAGE 250)
The incident which was the basis of this poem occurred during the
winter of 1862-1863, when the Northern and Southern armies were
encamped on opposite sides of the Rappahannock River in Virginia.
QUESTIONS, i. What are the details of the incident? 2. What is its
THE BURIAL OF LATANE (PAGE 253)
Captain Latane was killed in the Pamunkey expedition of General
1. E. B. Stuart. His brother managed to carry the body to the near
by plantation of Mrs. Brockenbrough. The Federal soldiers, however,
refused to allow a clergyman to come to conduct the funeral. Accord
ingly, accompanied by a few other ladies, a little girl with her apron
filled with flowers, and a few faithful slaves who stood near, Mrs. Brock
enbrough herself read the burial service and committed the gallant
soldier s body to the earth.
Victrix et vidua : victorious and bereft.
WILLIAM GORDON McCABE
DREAMING IN THE TRENCHES (PAGE 255)
This poem was written in 1864, while the author was in the trenches
502 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE
Montrose : James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, of the seventeenth
century, a supporter of Charles I. the old Romance: Malory s
" Morte d Arthur." Tristram: a knight of King Arthur s Round
Table who was the lover of Iseult, wife of his uncle, King Mark of
QUESTIONS, i. What is the poet s dream? 2. What determination
does he express in the last stanza ?
CHRISTMAS NIGHT OF 62 (PAGE 256)
QUESTIONS, i. What details of the soldier s bivouac are suggested?
2. What are the poet s thoughts on this Christmas night?
JOHN PEGRAM (PAGE 258)
General Pegram was a distinguished Confederate cavalry leader
who was killed at the head of his division near Hatcher s Run,
Virginia, in February, 1865, aged thirty-three.
QUESTION. What tribute is paid to Pegram as a man and as a
JOHN WILLIAMSON PALMER
STONEWALL JACKSON S WAY (PAGE 259)
This poem was written at Oakland, Maryland, September 17, 1862,
while the battle of Antietam was in progress. It is probably the most
graphic and condensed pen portrait of Jackson ever made.
"Blue-light Elder" : Presbyterian elder. Banks : a general in the
Federal army. Massa : a nickname among the soldiers for General
Jackson. pray: it was General Jackson s custom never to begin a
battle without a prayer, and after a victory to give public thanks to
God. In forma pauperis: as a poor man. Hill: A. P. Hill, a
prominent Confederate general. Pope: John Pope, a general in the
Federal army. Stuart: General J. E. B. Stuart, a Confederate
QUESTIONS, i. What characteristics of General Jackson are pre
sented ? 2. Is the touch of humor in this poem an advantage or not?
HENRY LYNDEN FLASH
STONEWALL JACKSON (PAGE 261)
In connection with the battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863,
General Jackson with a small escort advanced in front of his lines,
between eight and nine o clock in the evening, to reconnoiter. As he
was returning his party was mistaken for Federal soldiers and was
fired upon by the Confederates. Jackson was so severely wounded in
the left arm and the right hand that on the following day his left arm
was amputated. He seemed in a fair way to recover, but pneumonia
set in, from which he died. May 10. 1863.
QUESTION. What is the underlying thought of the poem ?
ALL QUIET ALONG THE POTOMAC TO-NIGHT (PAGE 262)
The authorship of this poem has been generally ascribed to Ethel
Lynn Beers, a New England writer. But recent evidence for a different
view seems conclusive. Professor C. Alphonso Smith presents the
evidence for Thaddeus Oliver s authorship as follows :
This poem was first published unsigned on October 21, 1861. "in a Northern
newspaper." In Harper s Weekly, of November 3Oth, 1861, it reappeared with
Mrs. Beers initials attached. Mr. Oliver, however, wrote the poem in August, 1861,
and read it to several friends in camp with him in Virginia. In a letter dated " Camp
2d Ga. Regt. near Centreville. Va.. October 3rd, i86i, v Mr. John D. Ashton, of
Georgia, writing to his wife says : Upon my arrival at home, should I be so
fortunate as to obtain the hoped-for furlough, I will read you the touching and
beautiful poem mentioned in my letter of last week, All Quiet along the
Potomac To-night, written by my girlishly modest friend, Thaddeus Oliver, of
the Buena Vista Guards."
For further evidence see Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. VIII,
QUESTIONS, i. Show that the poem gives a vivid picture of a grim
reality. 2. In what way does the incident make a human appeal ?
MARIE RAVEXEL DE LA COSTE
SOMEBODY S DARLING (PAGE 264)
This poem was one of the best-loved Confederate poems and for many
years was to be found in every scrapbook and heard on every school stage.
504 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE
CAROLINE AUGUSTA BALL
THE JACKET OF GRAY (PAGE 266)
Like " Somebody s Darling " this poem was widely popular, because
it expressed the feelings and experience of many a home.
MARGARET JUNKIN PRESTON
GONE FORWARD (PAGE 268)
This poem is based upon the last words of General Lee.
Red-Cross knights : the insignia of the Christian knights of the
Middle Ages was often a red cross.
QUESTION. What significance does the poet attribute to Lee s last
THE SHADE OF THE TREES (PAGE 269)
This poem is founded upon the last words of General T. J.
(" Stonewall ") Jackson.
QUESTION. What significance does the poet ascribe to the last
words of Jackson ?
THE SOLDIER BOY (PAGE 270)
All that is known regarding the authorship of this poem is embodied
in the initials " H. M. L." prefixed to it and the date, " Lynchburg,
May 18, 1861."
Damascus : sword blades made in Damascus have been noted for
their temper. falchion : sword.
QUESTION. What ideals of soldierly honor does this poem present ?
"THE BRIGADE MUST NOT KNOW, SIR" (PAGE 271)
This poem was written in 1863, presumably shortly after the death
of General " Stonewall " Jackson.
QUESTIONS, i. Note the contrasts and the climax in the dialogue of
the first three stanzas. 2. What account of the burial and what tribute
to Jackson are made in the last three stanzas ?
THE CONFEDERATE FLAG (PAGE 272)
This poem first appeared in the Ifetropolitan Record. Nothing further
is known in regard to its author or its date.
QUESTIONS, i. In what spirit is the outcome of the war accepted?
2. What may the South continue to take pride in ?
LINES ox A CONFEDERATE NOTE (PAGE 273)
So much uncertainty exists regarding the author of this unique
poem that it seems best not to attempt to ascribe it to an author. In
the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., there is a Confederate
note with a version of this poem inscribed upon the back of it and
signed by Miss M. J. Turner of North Carolina. There is no proof,
however, that this is the original copy. The poem is frequently as
cribed to Major A. S. Jonas of Mississippi, who was a member of the
staff of General Stephen D. Lee, and the following account is usually
given of its composition. After being paroled Major Jonas went to
Richmond to secure transportation home. At the Powhatan Hotel
his company met a Miss Anna Rush, a young girl from the North.
She showed them a batch of Confederate notes printed upon one side
which she was taking home as souvenirs. Handing one to each officer,
she requested them to write something on the back. The officers
complied and this poem is said to have been Major Jonas s contribution.
ABRAM JOSEPH RYAN
THE CONQUERED BANNER (PAGE 275)
This poem was written a short time after the surrender of General
Lee, but was not published until 1868, when it appeared in Father
Ryan s paper, The Banner of the South.
QUESTIONS, i. What features of this poem would make it touch
the Southern heart ? 2. Judged purely as poetry, should it be ranked
high? 3. While the poet is intensely Southern in his feeling, is he
evidencing unrelenting bitterness ? 4. Is the poem despairing in re
gard to the future of the South ? 5. Compare this poem with " The
506 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE
THE SWORD OF ROBERT LEE (PAGE 277)
This poem appeared in The Banner of the South in 1868, a few
weeks after " The Conquered Banner."
QUESTIONS, i. What qualities of Lee as a man and a leader does
Ryan suggest ? 2. Are there others that he might have brought forward ?
CAROLINA (PAGE 279)
This stirring lyric was written in the exciting days of 1861, when the
states were debating the question of secession.
Eutaw s battle-bed : the battle of Eutaw Springs during the Revo
lutionary War, in which the Americans under General Greene defeated
the British. -Rutledge : John Rutledge, the president and commander
in chief of South Carolina during the Revolution.
Laurens : John Laurens, a young patriot and soldier who was killed
in the skirmish at the close of the Revolution. Marion : the famous
partisan leader of the Revolution. Huns: Northern troops. From
Sachem s Head to Sumter s wall : from mountains to sea, Sachem s
Head (more usually Caesar s Head) being a mountain in northeastern
South Carolina, and Sumter being the fort in Charleston harbor.
armorial trees : palmetto trees on the coat-of-arms of South Carolina.
QUESTION. By what appeals does the poet seek to stir the patriotism
of the citizens of his state ?
A CRY TO ARMS (PAGE 282)
byre : cow house. cot : cottage ; here equivalent to home.
QUESTIONS, i. Upon whom does the poet call, and what is each
asked to leave ? 2. What is demanded of them ?
CHARLESTON (PAGE 284)
This poem was evidently written late in 1861, or early in 1862, when
Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie were both in the hands of the Con
federates and the Union warships were blockading the coast.
second summer: Indian summer. Sumter: Fort Sumter in Charles
ton harbor. Calpe : a Greek name for Gibraltar. Moultrie: Fort
Moultrie in Charleston harbor. Saxon lands : Charleston was the
port through which the Confederacy obtained supplies from England
on ships that ran the Federal blockade.
QUESTIONS, i. What picture of the city is given? 2. What is said
of her future ?
SPRING (PAGE 286)
germs: seeds. South: the south wind. Dryad: a tree nymph.
QUESTIONS, i. What aspect of spring is presented in the first part
of the poem? 2. What references to stirring events of Timrod s time
does the last part of the poem contain ?
THE COTTON BOLL (PAGE 288)
Small sphere : the boll or seed capsule of the cotton. cirque : a
circular valley. Uriel: one of the seven archangels. touched our
very swamps : the reference is to William Gilmore Simms, a fellow
Charlestonian and friend of Timrod, who had written poems and
romances in which the swamps were the backgrounds. Poet of
"The Woodlands": William Gilmore Simms, whose country place
in Barnwell County, South Carolina, was called " Woodlands."
flute s . . . trumpet s . . . west wind s : intended to symbolize different
types of Simms s literary work. Cornwall : the southernmost county
of England, bounded on three sides by water. It is noted for its mines
of copper and tin, which extend in some places far under the sea
bruit : report. Goth : the Northern soldiers. The Port which ruled
the Western seas: New York. At that time it was considered by
many Southerners, especially South Carolinians, as an unjust com
petitor for trade with Charleston.
QUESTIONS, i. What incident starts the poet s train of thought?
2. What poetic description of the South as the land of cotton is given
in lines 29-55? 3- "What details of Southern scenery are given in
lines 56-92 ? 4. The work of what other Southern writer is referred
to in lines 93-101? 5. What are Timrod s thoughts in lines 102-120
about the usefulness of the South s cotton to the world ? 6. What con
trast between this peaceful mission of the South and the present state
of warfare in the South does the poet see in lines 122-145? 7- ^ nat
hopes for the success of the Southern cause does the poet express in
the remainder of the poem ? 8. What qualities tend to make this a
notable poem ? 9. Is it too discursive ?
508 SOUTHERN LIFE IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE
THE LILY CONFIDANTE (PAGE 293)
QUESTIONS, i. Whom does the lover select as the confidante of his
secret? 2. What question does he ask the lily? 3. What answer does
the lily make ?
MAGNOLIA CEMETERY ODE (PAGE 295)
This lyric was sung on the occasion of decorating the graves of the
Confederate dead in Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, South Carolina,
in 1867. It has been greatly admired, one of the most notable expres
sions of admiration being that of Whittier when he said that it was
" in its simple grandeur, the noblest poem ever written by a Southern
poet." More recently Professor Trent has said of it, " One need not