Edd Winfield Parks and Aileen Wells Parks (eds), The Collected Poems of Henry Timrod: A Variorum Edition

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pg 125Editor’s NoteTHE TWO ARMIES70

  • 1Two armies stand enrolled beneath
  • Critical Apparatus2The banner with the starry wreath;
  • 3One, facing battle, blight and blast,
  • 4Through twice a hundred fields has passed;
  • 5Its deeds against a ruffian foe,
  • Critical Apparatus6Stream, valley, hill, and mountain know,
  • 7Till every wind that sweeps the land
  • 8Goes, glory laden, from the strand.
  • 9The other, with a narrower scope,
  • 10Yet led by not less grand a hope,
  • 11Hath won, perhaps, as proud a place,
  • 12And wears its fame with meeker grace.
  • 13Wives march beneath its glittering sign,
  • Critical Apparatus14Fond mothers swell the lovely line,
  • Critical Apparatus15And many a sweetheart hides her blush
  • 16In the young patriot's generous flush.
  • 17No breeze of battle ever fanned
  • 18The colors of that tender band;
  • 19Its office is beside the bed,
  • 20Where throbs some sick or wounded head.
  • 21It does not court the soldier's tomb,
  • 22But plies the needle and the loom;
  • 23And, by a thousand peaceful deeds,
  • 24Supplies a struggling nation's needs.
  • Critical Apparatus25Nor is that army's gentle might
  • 26Unfelt amid the deadly fight;
  • 27It nerves the son's, the husband's hand,
  • 28It points the lover's fearless brand;
  • 29It thrills the languid, warms the cold,
  • 30Gives even new courage to the bold;
  • 31And sometimes lifts the veriest clod
  • 32To its own lofty trust in God.
  • 33When Heaven shall blow the trump of peace,
  • 34And bid this weary warfare cease,
  • pg 12635Their several missions nobly done,
  • 36The triumph grasped, and freedom won,
  • 37Both armies, from their toils at rest,
  • 38Alike may claim the victor's crest,
  • Critical Apparatus39But each shall see its dearest prize
  • 40Gleam softly from the other's eyes.

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Notes

Editor’s Note
70. "The Two Armies" was published in the Southern Illustrated News, May 30, 1863; in the Daily South Carolinian, May 1, 1864; Hayne, 136; Memorial Edition, 158.
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line 2 banner with the starry wreath: the Confederate flag
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6 DSC: no comma after hill
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14 SIN: semicolon after line
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15 SIN: comma after blush
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25 SIN: comma after might
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39 SIN: comma after prize
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