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Perish the wicked!” or blaspheming, – “Here | Forgive me, if from present things I turn
To speak what in my heart will beat and burn, Our Pharaoh, — he whose heart God hardenéd, And hang my wreath on his world-honored urn, So that he would not let the people go."
Nature they say, doth dote,
And cannot make a man Self-glorifying sinners! Why, this man
Save on some worn-out plan, Was but like other men :— you, Levite small,
Repeating us by rote : Who shut your saintly ears, and prate of hell For him her old World moulds aside she threw, And heretics, because outside church-doors,
And, choosing sweet clay from the breast Your church-doors, congregations poor and small
Of the unexhausted West,
How beautiful to see
Who loved his charge, but never loved to lead;
Not lured by any cheat of birth, And crown it, that you henceforth may parade But by his clear-grained human worth, Your maggotship throughout the wondering And brave old wisdom of sincerity! world,
They knew that outward grace is dust; “I am the Lord's anointed!”
They could not choose but trust
Fools and blind ! In that sure-footed mind's unfaltering skill, This Czar, this emperor, this disthronéd corpse,
And supple-tempered will Lying so straightly in an icy calm
That bent like perfect steel to spring again and Grander than sovereignty, was but as ye,
thrust. No better and no worse ; – Heaven mend us all !
His was no lonely mountain-peak of mind,
Thrusting to thin air o'er our cloudy bars, Carry him forth and bury him. Death's peace A sea-mark now, now lost in vapors blind; Rest on his memory! Mercy by his bier
Broad prairie rather, genial, level-lined,
Nothing of Europe here,
Ere any names of Serf and Peer
Could Nature's equal scheme deface;
Here was a type of the true elder race,
And one of Plutarch's men talked with us face FROM THE “ COMMEMORATION ODE.”
I praise him not; it were too late ; LIFE may be given in many ways,
And some innative weakness there must be And loyalty to Truth be sealed
In him who condescends to victory As bravely in the closet as the field,
Such as the Present gives, and cannot wait,
Safe in himself as in a fate.
So always firmly he :
He knew to bide his time,
And can his fame abide,
Still patient in his simple faith sublime,
Till the wise years decide.
Great captains, with their guns and drums,
Disturb our judgment for the hour, earth,
But at last silence comes; Not forced to frame excuses for his birth,
These all are gone, and, standing like a tower, Fed from within with all the strength he needs.
Our children shall behold his fame,
The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man, Such was he, our Martyr-Chief,
Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame, Whom late the Nation he had led,
New birth of our new soil, the first American. With ashes on her head, Wept with the passion of an angry grief :
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
BURIAL OF LINCOLN.
| Around the secret of the mystic zone,
A mighty nation's star-bespangled flag PEACE! Let the long procession come,
And underneath, upon the lifeless front
Of that drear cliff, a simple name is traced ;
Fit type of him who, famishing and gaunt,
But with a rocky purpose in his soul,
Breasted the gathering snows,
Clung to the drifting floes,
By want beleaguered, and by winter chased, Bearing our woe afar !
Seeking the brother lost amid that frozen waste. Go, darkly borne, from State to State,
Not many months ago we greeted him, Whose loyal, sorrowing cities wait
Crowned with the icy honors of the North, To honor, all they can,
Across the land his hard-won fame went forth, The dust of that good man !
And Maine's deep woods were shaken limb by limb. Go, grandly borne, with such a train
His own mild Keystone State, sedate and prim, As greatest kings might die to gain :
Burst from decorous quiet as he came.
Hot Southern lips, with eloquence aflame,
Sounded his triumph. Texas, wild and grim,
Proffered its horny hand. The large-lunged West, And you, the soldiers of our wars,
From out his giant breast,
Jubilant to the sky,
Thundered the mighty cry,
HONOR TO KANE !
In vain, — in vain beneath his feet we Aung
The reddening roses ! All in vain we poured Beside the forge, the plough!
The golden wine, and round the shining board
Sent the toast circling, till the rafters rung So sweetly, sadly, sternly goes
With the thrice-tripled honors of the feast ! The fallen to his last repose.
Scarce the buds wilted and the voices ceased Beneath no mighty dome,
Ere the pure light that sparkled in his eyes, But in his modest home,
Bright as auroral fires in Southern skies,
Faded and faded ! And the brave young heart The churchyard where his children rest,
That the relentless Arctic winds had robbed The quiet spot that suits him best,
Of all its vital heat, in that long quest
For the lost captain, now within his breast
More and more faintly throbbed.
Closed on the laurel crown with eager clasp,
Death launched a whistling dart;
And ere the thunders of applause were done
His bright eyes closed forever on the sun ! For many a year and many an age,
Too late, -- too late the splendid prize he won While History on her ample page
In the Olympic race of Science and of Art ! The virtues shall enroll
Like to some shattered berg that, pale and lone, Of that paternal soul !
Drifts from the white North to a Tropic zone,
And in the burning day
Till on some rosy even
It dies with sunlight blessing it; so he
Tranquilly floated to a Southern sea,
And melted into heaven!
We will not weep for him who died so well ; Gazes with dead face on the seas that roll | But we will gather round the hearth, and tell
The story of his strife;
| All of him that was earth Such homage suits him well,
Lies mute and cold, Better than funeral pomp or passing bell !
Like a wrinkled sheath and old
Thrown off forever from the shimmering blade What tale of peril and self-sacrifice !
That has good entrance made
Upon some distant, glorious strife.
A simpler age, to ours Old Ironsides came;
0, not outlived his fame! The lethargy of famine ; the despair
The dauntless men whose service guards our shore Urging to labor, nervelessly pursued ;
Lengthen still their glory-roll
And the old heroic wars.
At first, but deepening ever till they grew Whom Death had spared alone
Nor till the prize was theirs repressed their To all around him. By a mighty will
rage. Living defiant of the wants that kill,
They are gone, — all gone : Because his death would seal his comrades' fate; They rest with glory and the undying Powers ;
Cheering with ceaseless and inventive skill Only their name and fame, and what they saved,
are ours !
Upon the Gallic Sea,
The deathful, desperate fight!
Under the fair moon's light Time was when he should gain his spurs of gold | The frigate squared, and yawed to left and right.
From royal hands, who wooed the knightly state: Every broadside swept to death a score ! The knell of old formalities is tolled,
Roundly played her guns and well, till their fiery And the world's knights are now self-consecrate.
ensigns fell, No grander episode doth chivalry hold
| Neither foe replying more. In all its annals, back to Charlemagne,
All in silence, when the night breeze cleared the Than that lone vigil of unceasing pain,
air, Faithfully kept through hunger and through cold,
Old Ironsides rested there, By the good Christian knight, Elisha Kane!
Locked in between the twain, and drenched with
blood. FITZ.JAMES O'BRIEN.
Then hoineward, like an eagle with her prey !
That fight in Biscay Bay !
Fearless the captain stood, in his youthful hardi.
He was the boldest of them all,
Our brave old Admiral |
And still our heroes bleed,
| Taught by that olden deed.
Whether of iron or of oak
One the grisly King of Terrors; one a Bourbon, The ships we marshal at our country's need,
with his errors, late to conscience-clearing Stillspeak their cannon now as then they spoke; ! Still floats our unstruck banner from the mast Well his fevered pulse may flutter, and the priests As in the stormy past.
their mass may mutter with such fervor
as they may: Lay him in the ground:
Cross and chrysm, and genuflection, mop and Let him rest where the ancient river rolls;
mow, and interjection, will not frighten Let him sleep beneath the shadow and the sound Death away.
Of the bell whose proclamation, as it tolls, By the dying despot sitting, at the hard heart's Is of Freedom and the gift our fathers gave.
portals hitting, shocking the dull brain Lay him gently down :
to work, The clamor of the town
Death makes clear what life has hidden, chides Will not break the slumbers deep, the beautiful what life has left unchidden, quickens ripe sleep,
truth life tried to burke. .. Of this lion of the wave,
He but ruled within his borders after Holy Will not trouble the old Admiral in his grave. Church's orders, did what Austria bade
him do ; Earth to earth his dust is laid.
By their guidance flogged and tortured ; highMethinks his stately shade
born men and gently nurtured chained On the shadow of a great ship leaves the shore ;)
with crime's felonious crew. Over cloudless western seas
What if summer fevers gripped them, what if Seeks the far Hesperides,
winter freezings nipped them, till they The islands of the blest,
rotted in their chains ? Where no turbulent billows roar, –
He had word of Pope and Kaiser ; none could Where is rest.
holier be or wiser; theirs the counsel, his His ghost upon the shadowy quarter stands
the reins. Nearing the deathless lands.
So he pleads excuses eager, clutching, with his There all his martial mates, renewed and strong, fingers meagre, at the bedclothes as he Await his coming long.
speaks ; I see the happy Heroes rise
But King Death sits grimly grinning at the With gratulation in their eyes :
Bourbon's cobweb-spinning, -as each cob“Welcome, old comrade,” Lawrence cries ;
web-cable breaks. “Ah, Stewart, tell us of the wars!
And the poor soul, from life's eylot, rudderless, Who win the glory and the scars?
without a pilot, drifteth slowly down the How floats the skyeyflag, - how many stars ? | dark; Still speak they of Decatur's name,
While 'mid rolling incense vapor, chanted dirge, Of Bainbridge's and Perry's fame?
· and flaring taper, lies the body, stiff and Of me, who earliest came ?
PUNCH. Make ready, all : Room for the Admiral ! Come, Stewart, tell us of the wars !" EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN.
BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE.
Not a drum was heard, nor a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried ; DEATH-BED OF BOMBA, KING OF
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot NAPLES, AT BARI. 1859.
O'er the grave where our hero we buried. COULD I pass those lounging sentries, through! We buried him darkly, at dead of night, the aloe-bordered entries, up the sweep of
The sods with our bayonets turning; squalid stair,
By the struggling moonbeams' misty light, On through chamber after chamber, where the And the lantern dimly burning.
sunshine's gold and amber turn decay to
No useless coffin inclosed his breast,
of issue mortal, face to face two kings are But he lay, like a warrior taking his rest, met, —
With his martial cloak around him.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
LEUCONOMUS (beneath well-sounding Greek
I slur a name a poet may not speak) We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
Stood pilloried on infamy's high stage, And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
And bore the pelting storm of half an age; That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er
The very butt of slander, and the blot his head,
For every dart thật malice ever shot. And we far away on the billow !
The man that mentioned him at once dismissed
All mercy from his lips, and sneered and hissed; Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
His crimes were such as Sodom never knew, And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him ;
And perjury stood up to swear all true; But little he 'll reck, if they let him sleep on,
His aim was mischief, and his zeal pretence, In the grave where a Briton has laid him ! His speech rebellion against common sense ;
A knave, when tried on honesty's plain rule, But half of our heavy task was done,
And when by that of reason, a mere fool; When the clock tolled the hour for retiring; The world's best comfort was, his doom was past; And we heard the distant and random gun Die when he might, he must be damned at last. That the foe was sullenly firing.
Now, truth, perform thine office ; waft aside
The curtain drawn by prejudice and pride, Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
Reveal (the man is dead) to wondering eyes From the field of his fame fresh and gory! This more than monster in his proper guise. We carved not a line, we raised not a stone, He loved the world that hated him ; the tear But we left him alone in his glory.
That dropped upon his Bible was sincere ;
His only answer was a blameless life;
Had each a brother's interest in his heart.
Paul's love of Christ and steadiness unbribed GEORGE VILLIERS, DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM. 1682. Were copied close in him, and well transcribed.
He followed Paul ; his zeal a kindred flame, Some of their chiefs were princes of the land;
| His apostolic charity the same. In the first rank of these did Zimri stand ;
Like him crossed cheerfully tempestuous seas, A man so various, that he seemed to be Not one, but all mankind's epitome ::
Forsaking country, kindred, friends, and ease; Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong ;
Like him he labored, and like him, content Was everything by starts, and nothing long;
To bear it, suffered shame where'er he went. But, in the course of one revolving moon,
Blush, Calumny! and write upon his tomb, Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon;
If honest Eulogy can spare thee room, Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking,
Thy deep repentance of thy thousand lies, Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking.
| Which, aimed at him, has pierced the offended Blest madman, who could every hour employ,
skies ; With something new to wish or to enjoy!
And say, Blot out my sin, confessed, deplored, Railing and praising were his usual themes ;
| Against thine image in thy saint, O Lord !
WILLIAM COWPER. And both, to show his judgment, in extremes : So over-violent or over-civil, That every man with him was God or Devil. In squandering wealth was his peculiar art;
FROM "THE VISION OF JUDGMENT."
had his estate. He said (I only give the heads), – he said He laughed himself from court, then sought relief. He meant no harm in scribbling; 't was his By forming parties, but could ne'er be chief;
way For, spite of him, the weight of business fell
Upon all topics ; 't was, besides, his bread, On Absalom, and wise Achitophel.
| Of which he buttered both sides ; 't would Thus, wicked but in will, of means bereft,
delay He left no faction, but of that was left.
Too long the assembly (he was pleased to dread), JOHN DRYDEN. | And take up rather more time than a day,