Like Brothers We Meet

By George Moses Horton 1798–1883 George Moses Horton

Dedicated to the Federal and Late Confederate Soldiers

Like heart-loving brothers we meet,
    And still the loud thunders of strife,
The blaze of fraternity kindles most sweet,
    There’s nothing more pleasing in life.
 
The black cloud of faction retreats,
    The poor is no longer depressed,
See those once discarded resuming their seats,
    The lost strangers soon will find rest.
 
The soldier no longer shall roam,
    But soon shall land safely ashore,
Each soon will arrive at his own native home,
    And struggle in warfare no more.
 
The union of brothers is sweet,
    Whose wives and children do come,
Their sons and fair daughters with pleasure they greet,
    When long absent fathers come home.
 
They never shall languish again,
    Nor discord their union shall break,
When brothers no longer lament and complain,
    Hence never each other forsake.
 
Hang closely together like friends,
    By peace killing foes never driven,
The storm of commotion eternally ends,
    And earth will soon turn into Heaven.

Source: “Words for the Hour”: A New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry, edited by Faith Barrett and Cristanne Miller (University of Massachusetts Press, 2005)

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Poet George Moses Horton 1798–1883

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

Biography

Born a slave on William Horton’s tobacco plantation, George Moses Horton taught himself to read. Around 1815 he began composing poems in his head, saying them aloud and “selling” them to an increasingly large crowd of buyers at the weekly Chapel Hill farmers market. Students at the nearby University of North Carolina bought his love poems and lent him books. As his fame spread, he gained the attention of Caroline Lee Whiting . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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