"Fourscore and seven years ago This is a Bous, nation has outlived the life of one human, but is still young...at the end of the speech we will see the rebirth, or regeneration of the country.our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. the preceding metaphors depict the founding of the nation in terms of a birth, with the framers of the constitution the fathers, and liberty the mother. This implies that the nation is alive...and a child, still growing and learning, and in need of protection. Thus, the further implication is that the secession of the southern states is tantamount to child murder!
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. 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. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. Here, the religious terminology is fitting for the occasion, which is indeed a dedication/consecration; but it also identifies the deaths as a sacrifice (note the same root as sacred!) given to ensure the safety of the nation/child.
The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. "But" sets the two clauses of the sentence in direct opposition to one another, unlike the earlier draft, which used "while" indicating that both clauses are parallel.. "while" therefore implies that the world responds similarly to both "say" and "did," though more strongly to the latter. "But" frames the two clauses in contrast, so implying that the world's response is equally contrasted between the word and the deed. Further, the contradiction inherent in the "but" implies that the world considers deeds more important than words...an irony, since we actually tend to forget deeds that are not commemorated in words!
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. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us (passive voice here!)Also note the repetition with reversal above, the second phrase gaining strength from repetition and also from association of incremental proportions: (first) with unfinished work, (second) from great task--that from these honored dead we take) increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion (we take-they give. we are still passive, they are the heroes who commit great deeds)--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." These metaphors (in purple) redirect the deed of sacrifice to the "task" of devotion to the cause...certainly a lesser demand than giving one's life, so it is something that can justifiably be demanded of the audience for the speech, but will ensure the survival of the child...and thus everyone in the audience now becomes the parents of that child..