Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

The Cumberland



(March, 1862.)



Some names there are of telling sound,
Whose voweled syllables free
Are pledge that they shall ever live renowned;
Such seem to be
A Frigate's name (by present glory spanned)--
The Cumberland.

Sounding name as ere was sung,
Flowing, rolling on the tongue--
Cumberland! Cumberland!

She warred and sunk. There's no denying
That she was ended--quelled;
And yet her flag above her fate is flying,
As when it swelled
Unswallowed by the swallowing sea: so grand--
The Cumberland.

Goodly name as ere was sung,
Roundly rolling on the tongue--
Cumberland! Cumberland!

What need to tell how she was fought--
The sinking flaming gun--
The gunner leaping out the port--
Washed back, undone!
Her dead unconquerably manned
The Cumberland.

Noble name as ere was sung,
Slowly roll it on the tongue--
Cumberland! Cumberland!

Long as hearts shall share the flame
Which burned in that brave crew,
Her fame shall live--outlive the victor's name;
For this is due.
Your flag and flag-staff shall in story stand--
Cumberland!

Sounding name as ere was sung,
Long they'll roll it on the tongue--
Cumberland! Cumberland!



Herman Melville