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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Southern States: Fredericksburg, Va.


By Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)

THE INCREASING moonlight drifts across my bed,

And on the churchyard by the road, I know

It falls as white and noiselessly as snow.

’T was such a night two weary summers fled;

The stars, as now, were waning overhead.

Listen! Again the shrill-lipped bugles blow

Where the swift currents of the river flow

Past Fredericksburg: far off the heavens are red

With sudden conflagration: on yon height,

Linstock in hand, the gunners hold their breath:

A signal-rocket pierces the dense night,

Flings its spent stars upon the town beneath:

Hark!—the artillery massing on the right,

Hark!—the black squadrons wheeling down to Death!