Melville wrote his civil-war poem, Shiloh: A Requiem (April 1862) just following the war. The poem begins and ends in the present-day natural world of birds, clouds, and rain, as the poet time-travels back to the earlier carnage. The setting begins with a suggestion of the ‘skimming swallows.’ After the ‘bullet’ knocks the poet out of his reverie, the birds return in an aleatoric section. The prevailing contrapuntal texture of the piece is relieved by the hymn-like sections describing the lonely church and the prayers of the dying. There is a flavor of a certain dark Americana to the piece.