A Utilitarian View of the Monitors Fight.
by Herman Mellville
Plain be the phrase, yet apt the verse,
More ponderous than nimble;
For since grimed War here laid aside
His Orient pomp, ‘twould ill befit
Overmuch to ply
The Rhyme’s barbaric cymbal.
Hail to victory without the gaud
Of glory; zeal that needs no fans
Of banners; plain mechanic power
Plied cogently in War now placed —
Where War belongs —
Among the trades and artisans.
Yet this was battle, and intense —
Beyond the strife of fleets heroic;
Deadlier, closer, calm ‘mid storm;
No passion; all went on by crank,
Pivot, and screw,
And calculations of caloric.
Needless to dwell; the story’s known.
the ringing of those plates on plates
Still ringeth round the world —
The clangor of that blacksmith’s fray.
Resounds this message from the Fates:
War shall yet be, and to the end;
But war-paint shows the streaks of weather;
War yet shall be, but warriors
Are now but operatives; War’s made
Less grand than Peace,
And a singe runs through lace and feather.