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The black festoons that stretch for miles,
And turn the streets to funeral aisles ?
(No house too poor to show
The nation's badge of woe.)

The cannon's sudden, sullen boom,
The bells that toll of death and doom,
The rolling of the drums,

The dreadful car that comes?

Cursed be the hand that fired the shot, The frenzied brain that hatched the plot, Thy country's Father slain

By thee, thou worse than Cain !

Tyrants have fallen by such as thou,
And good hath followed - may it now!
(God lets bad instruments
Produce the best events.)

But he, the man we mourn to-day,
No tyrant was: so mild a sway
In one such weight who bore
Was never known before.

Cool should he be, of balanced powers,
The ruler of a race like ours,

Impatient, headstrong, wild,
The Man to guide the Child.

And this he was, who most unfit
(So hard the sense of God to hit,)
Did seem to fill his place;
With such a homely face,

Such rustic manners, speech uncouth,
(That somehow blundered out the truth,)
Untried, untrained to bear
The more than kingly care.

Ah! And his genius put to scorn
The proudest in the purple born,

Whose wisdom never grew
To what, untaught, he knew,

The People, of whom he was one:
No gentleman, like Washington,

(Whose bones, methinks, make room,
To have him in their tomb!)

A laboring man, with horny hands,
Who swung the axe, who tilled his lands,
Who shrank from nothing new,
But did as poor men do.

One of the People! Born to be

Their curious epitome;

To share yet rise above
Their shifting hate and love.

Common his mind, (it seemed so then,)
His thoughts the thoughts of other men:
Plain were his words, and poor,
But now they will endure !

No hasty fool, of stubborn will,
But prudent, cautious, pliant still;
Who since his work was good
Would do it as he could.

Doubting, was not ashamed to doubt,
And, lacking prescience, went without:
Often appeared to halt,

And was, of course, at fault;

Heard all opinions, nothing loath, And, loving both sides, angered both: Was - not like Justice, blind, But watchful, clement, kind.

No hero this of Roman mould,
Nor like our stately sires of old:
Perhaps he was not great,
But he preserved the State!

O honest face, which all men knew!
O tender heart, but known to few!
O wonder of the age,
Cut off by tragic rage!

Peace! Let the long procession come,
For hark, the mournful, muffled drum,
The trumpet's wail afar,
And see, the awful car!

Peace! Let the sad procession go,
While cannon boom and bells toll slow.

And go, thou sacred car,
Bearing our woe afar!

Go, darkly borne, from State to State,
Whose loyal, sorrowing cities wait
To honor all they can
The dust of that good man.
Go, grandly borne, with such a train
As greatest kings might die to gain.

The just, the wise, the brave, Attend thee to the grave.

And you, the soldiers of our wars, Bronzed veterans, grim with noble scars, Salute him once again,

Your late commander- slain !

Yes, let your tears indignant fall, But leave your muskets on the wall; Your country needs you now Beside the forge- the plough.

(When Justice shall unsheathe her brand, -
If Mercy may not stay her hand,
Nor would we have it so,
She must direct the blow.)

And you, amid the master-race,
Who seem so strangely out of place,
Know ye who cometh? He
Who hath declared ye free.

Bow while the body passes - nay,
Fall on your knees, and weep, and pray
Weep, weep I would ye might
Your poor black faces white!

And, children, you must come in bands,
With garlands in your little hands,

Of blue and white and red,
To strew before the dead.

So sweetly, sadly, sternly goes
The Fallen to his last repose.

Beneath no mighty dome,
But in his modest home;

The churchyard where his children rest,
The quiet spot that suits him best,
There shall his grave be made,
And there his bones be laid.

And there his countrymen shall come,
With memory proud, with pity dumb,
And strangers far and near,
For many and many a year.

For many a year and many an age,
While History on her ample page
The virtues shall enroll
Of that Paternal Soul.


DECEMBER 23-24, 1863

THE Angel came by night
(Such angels still come down),
And like a winter cloud

Passed over London town;
Along its lonesome streets,
Where Want had ceased to weep,
Until it reached a house

Where a great man lay asleep; The man of all his time

Who knew the most of men, The soundest head and heart,

The sharpest, kindest pen. It paused beside his bed,

And whispered in his ear; He never turned his head,

But answered, “I am here.”

Into the night they went.

At morning, side by side, They gained the sacred Place Where the greatest Dead abide. Where grand old Homer sits

In godlike state benign; Where broods in endless thought The awful Florentine; Where sweet Cervantes walks, A smile on his grave face; Where gossips quaint Montaigne, The wisest of his race; Where Goethe looks through all With that calm eye of his; Where-little seen but LightThe only Shakespeare is! When the new Spirit came, They asked him, drawing near, "Art thou become like us?" He answered, "I am here.”


"THERE are gains for all our losses." So I said when I was young.

If I sang that song again,

T would not be with that refrain,

Which but suits an idle tongue.

Youth has gone, and hope gone with it,
Gone the strong desire for fame.
Laurels are not for the old.
Take them, lads. Give Senex gold.
What's an everlasting name?

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LAST night, when my tired eyes were shut with sleep,

I saw the one I love, and heard her speak, Heard, in the listening watches of the night, The sweet words melting from her sweeter lips:

But what she said, or seemed to say, to me I have forgotten, though, till morning broke, I kept repeating her melodious words. Long, long may Jami's eyes be blest with sleep,

Like that which last night stole him from himself,

That perfect rest which, closing his tired lids, Disclosed the hidden beauty of his love, And, filling his soul with music all the while, Imposed forgetfulness, instructing him That silence is more significant of love Than all the burning words in lovers' songs!


THE life of man
Is an arrow's flight,
Out of darkness
Into light,
And out of light
Into darkness again;
Perhaps to pleasure,
Perhaps to pain!

There must be Something,
Above, or below;
Somewhere unseen
A mighty Bow,
A Hand that tires not,
A sleepless Eye
That sees the arrows
Fly, and fly;
One who knows

Why we live and die.

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