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Had pierced, had crushed Rebellion dead,—
At last, when all was well,
The time, the place, the stealing Shape,-
The wife-the widow's scream,-
A Dream ?-what means this pageant, then?
Who speak not when they meet,
The flags half-mast, that late so high
(The stars no brightness shed,
The black festoons that stretch for miles, And turn the streets to funeral aisles?
(No house too poor to show
The cannon's sudden, sullen boom,-
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,
But he, the Man we mourn to-day,
In one such weight who bore
Cool should he be, of balanced powers,
Impatient, headstrong, wild,-
And this he was, who most unfit
Did seem to fill his Place.
Such rustic manners-speech uncouth(That somehow blundered out the Truth!) Untried, untrained to bear,
The more than kingly Care?
Ay! And his genius put to scorn
Whose wisdom never grew
The People, of whom he was one.
(Whose bones, methinks, make room, To have him in their tomb!)
A laboring man, with horny hands,
One of the People! Born to be
To share, yet rise above
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,
Who, since his work was good,
Doubting, was not ashamed to doubt,
Heard all opinions, nothing loth,
No hero, this, of Roman mould;
Perhaps he was not Great
O honest face, which all men knew!
Peace! Let the long procession come,
Peace! Let the sad procession go,
Go, darkly borne, from State to State,
The dust of that Good Man!
Go, grandly borne, with such a train
The Just, the Wise, the Brave
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,
(When Justice shall unsheathe her brand
If Mercy may not stay her hand,
Nor would we have it so-
And you, amid the Master-Race
Bow while the Body passes-Nay,
And, Children, you must come in bands,
Of blue, and white, and red,
So sweetly, sadly, sternly goes
Beneath no mighty dome,
The churchyard where his children rest,
And there his countrymen shall come,
For many a year, and many an Age,