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

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Text

The Portent
By Herman Melville
Hanging from the beam,
      Slowly swaying (such the law),
Gaunt the shadow on your green,
      Shenandoah!
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,
      Shenandoah!
But the streaming beard is shown
      (Weird John Brown),
The meteor of the war.

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