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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 05/30/2005 09:48:21 EDT
Subject: Another Poem for Memorial Day

Message Detail:

"The stars of Night contain the glittering Day
And rain his glory down with sweeter grace
Upon the dark World's grand, enchanted face --
All loth to turn away."

Sidney Lanier
Late of the Independent Signal Corps
Confederate States of America

The remarkable feature of this elegy is the spirit of resignation that pervades it. No strain of bitterness can be discovered, though it was written in September of 1865, while the young poet, who had lost his health in Point Lookout Prision camp the winter before, was residing in his native State of Georgia. Lanier was later one of the first Southerners to express the sentiment of nationality..

The Sidney Lanier Memorial, shown above, is to be found in Baltimore, Maryland and is located along Charles Street at the rear entrance to the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus Alumni Memorial Residences. It was sculpted in 1941 by Hans Schuler, and donated to Hopkins by the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore.

Following his war-time service as a Confederate army signal-operator, Lanier, a lecturer in English at Hopkins from 1879 until his death in 1881, was the most widely acclaimed Southern poet of the post-Civil War period. He was also an accomplished musician, and, before assuming his post at Hopkins, was lead flutist of the Peabody Conservatory Orchestra. The exquisite monument, shown above, was unveiled on February 3,1942, the centenary of Lanier's birth. Detail of the bronze rendering shows Sidney holding a book in his left hand while lying beside him in the foreground beneath his right hand is a flute and sheet music. Ever communicating by signal flag on the James River or out to sea, by poem or by way of a melody Sidney Lanier mankind served well. In respect, his memorial is lovingly maintained to this day.

Sources for my post were:
Francis Miller's "Photographic History of the Civil War"
& Johns hopkins University, Homewood Campus, Baltimore, Maryland

Plus Inspiration from David W. Gaddy

Message Link:

Signal Corps Association (1860-1865)
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