The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. The bottom layer, containing its simplest and most frequently used words, is Germanic.
Parallelism is a rhetorical technique in which a writer emphasizes the equal value or weight of two or more ideas by expressing them in the same grammatical form.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
There was a sharp contrast between this simple three-paragraph speech and the two-hour address by well-known orator Edward Everett that preceded it. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.
How is that possible? Because languages like English not only express the situation of an utterance, they also recreate that situation when the language is experienced anew. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
The next two sentences take the audience forward to the then present day: Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
Had Lincoln been writing in Latin, the great concluding tricolon of the speech could have been the jangle populi, populo, populo, the genitive of the people, the ablative by the people, and the dative for the people.