The Portent

The Portent is the first song from Lowell Liebermann's song cycle War Songs, Op. 7.

Date: 1981Composer: Lowell LiebermannText: Herman MelvilleSong Collection: War Songs, op. 7

Print vitals & song text


The Portent
By Herman Melville
Hanging from the beam,
      Slowly swaying (such the law),
Gaunt the shadow on your green,
The cut is on the crown
      (Lo, John Brown),
And the stabs shall heal no more.
Hidden in the cap
      Is the anguish none can draw;
So your future veils its face,
But the streaming beard is shown
      (Weird John Brown),
The meteor of the war.

Support us and help us grow

Dear friends, Thank you for helping us build a comprehensive online archive of American song. Your gift is greatly appreciated.