A Rebel’s Wish

The passions of Mississippians who fought for the South during the Civil War didn’t die with the Confederacy in 1865. For some, their hatred of all things Northern was deep and abiding. A good example of the anger that many felt is found in this poem, which was published in the Natchez Weekly Democrat on September 12, 1868. Entitled “A Rebel’s Wish,” the poem opened with this statement:

[The following tremendous “wish” seems hardly in accordance with the Divine command “Forgive your enemies.” But evidently an “honest hater,” as Dr. Johnson would have said, wrote it; and let us respect honesty. – Ex]

A Rebel’s Wish

Oh, may each dastard Yankee float

On Polar seas, in open boat –

On icebergs driven, tempest-tossed,

Their water out, their rations lost.

A sky that’s deaf to supplication,

All round a scene of desolation –

No peace on earth, no hope in heaven,

To shame and want forever given,

Until the fates adjudging well,

Consign them to the lowest Hell.

And while they roast, and burn and stew,

Lamenting what they can’t undo,

See in cool Heaven, above their heads,

Angelick squadrons of Confeds,

Wandering by streams, whose liquid flow,

Maddens the scorching crowds below

Who’d take ten years of added ill

For one cool drop those careless spill;

But find repentance came too late –

Sealed and unchangeable their fate.


[Suggested by reading the passage of the military bill]

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