Old Abraham, The Splitter
Title:Old Abraham, the Splitter
Publication:The Blackburn Times
Date:October 29, 1864
This humorous poem is divided into eight quatrain stanzas with rhymes linking just the second and fourth lines, though these are all ‘feminine’ rhymes of more than one syllable with the last syllable unstressed. This last fact allows this to sound a little like a ballad in form with the metre being iambic and the line lengths being fairly consistently eight and seven syllables alternated.
The poem mocks Lincoln and lists various ways in which he might have been said to have been a ‘splitter’ both figuratively and literally, but it is overwhelmingly sympathetic to that politician’s cause despite highlighting his central role in the American Civil War and its division of the nation. It also ends with an assurance relating to the reunification of America which by the time this poem was published (October 1864) was all but a foregone conclusion.