56 - The Fortitude of the North*
The Fortitude of the North
under the Disaster of the Second Manassas.
They take no shameIn his bound sheets of Battle-Pieces (Copy C), Melville used pencil to create a wavy line around and between "They take" and "no shame" to indicate a transposition of these words to give "No shame they take," a syntactical inversion typical in traditional balladic verse and common in Melville's style. Melville makes a similar transpositions in "On a natural Monument," with "They choked in horror." Two other examples are found in "The Scout toward Aldie," with "They leave the road" and "They skirt the pool." The editors of the NN Published Poems emend their reading text by enacting these transpositions on Melville's behalf. However, in keeping with our protocol of not mixing versions of a work, MEL does not emend, but notes Melville's changes through revision annotation. for dark defeat
While prizing yet each victory won,
Who fight for the Right through all retreat,
Nor pause until their work is done.
The Cape-of-Storms is proof to every throe;
Vainly against that foreland beat
Wild winds aloft and wilder waves below:
The black cliffs gleam through rents in sleet
When the livid Antarctic storm-clouds glow.