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  Abraham Lincoln  

 

    No martyr-blood hath ever flowed in vain!--
No patriot bled, that proved not freedom's gain!
Those tones, which despots heard with fear and dread
From living lips, ring sterner from the dead;
And he who dies, lives, oft, more truly so
Than had he never felt the untimely blow.

    And so with him thus, in an instant, hurled
From earthly hopes and converse with the world.
Each trickling blood-drop shall, with sudden power
Achieve the work of years in one short hour,
And his faint death-sigh more strong arms unite
In stern defence of Freedom and of Right,
Than all he could have said by word or pen,
In a whole life of threescore years and ten!

    Dead! fell assassin! did you think him dead,
When, with unmurmuring lips, he bowed his head,
While round him bent pale, stricken-hearted men?
Never more grandly did he live than then!
Never that voice had such unmeasured power
To fire men's souls, as in that solemn hour,
When, on a startled world's affrighted ear,
"E'er so with tyrants!" rang out wildly clear.
And the red bolt that pierced his quiv'ring brain
Maddened a million hearts with burning pain!

    Dead?--frenzied demon of the lash and whip,
What time you let your dogs of ruin slip
At his unguarded throat with raurd'rous cry,
And passion-howl of rage and agony?--
Nay:--in that deathful hour, from shore to shore,
Men heard his voice who never heard before;
And, pale with horror by his bloody clay,
Vowed from that hour his mandate to obey,--
Nor rest till all your fiends of Crime and Lust,
'Neath Freedom's heel, lie weltering in the dust!

    Dead? dead?--Nay!--'tis not thus that good men die!
Tis thus they win fame's immortality!
Thus does their every utt'rance grow sublime,--
A voice of power,--a watchword for all time!--
And the dead arm a mightier scepter sways,
Than his, who, living, half a world obeys!

    Sleep, uncorrupted Patriot! faithful one!
Friend of the friendless! Freedom's martyred son!
Henceforth no land shall call thee all its own,--
The World, Humanity, the bruised and lone,--
The oppressed and burdened ones of every clime
Shall claim thee theirs, and bless thee thro' all time,
And "are, and shall be free!" from shore to shore
Speed grandly on till serfdom is no more,
And gentle brotherhood our sorrowing race
Link man to man in warm and true embrace!

       - Mrs. J. C. Yule


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