Thursday, October 12, 2017

BUFFALO, a poem

McKinley assassination
Wikimedia Commons
On 6 September 1901, President William McKinley was shot and fatally wounded by an anarchist in Buffalo, New York.

 A TRANSIENT city, marvelously fair,—
     Humane, harmonious, yet nobly free,—
     She built for pure delight and memory.
At her command, by lake and garden rare,
Pylon and tower majestic rose in air,
     And sculptured forms of grace and symmetry.
     Then came a thought of God, and, reverently,—
"Let there be Light!" she said; and Light was there.

O miracle of splendor! Who could know
     That Crime, insensate, egoist and blind,
          Destructive, causeless, caring but to smite,
     Would in its dull Cimmerian gropings find
A sudden way to fill those courts with woe,
     And swallow up that radiance in night?

"Buffalo" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Independent (10 October 1901), Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

Peace!—mourn no more the martyr's fate!
Death came—though by the hand of hate,
His faithful life to vindicate,
     His name to set apart.
No more assailed, misunderstood,
He sleeps where love his grave hath strewed,
Safe sentinelled by gratitude,—
     The memory of the heart.

"McKinley" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Era (October 1901).

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