Colonel Elmer Ellsworth was the first Union officer to die in the American Civil War. No new biography of his life has been published since 1960--so I am writing one.
When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom'd,
And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd--and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
O ever-returning spring! trinity sure to me you bring;
Lilac blooming perennial, and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.
O powerful, western, fallen star!
O shades of night! O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear'd! O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless! O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud, that will not free my soul!
In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the white-wash'd palings,
Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom, rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle.....and from this bush in the door-yard,
With delicate-color'd blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig, with its flower, I break.
from "When Lilacs Last In the Door-yard Bloom'd," by Walt Whitman
When you like the poetry, I know I have done well!
WoW! This brought back memories---I memorized this for a class in middle school---I LOVE Walt Whitman's poetry as a result! See we middle school teachers CAN have an impact that lasts!