Sunday, October 30, 2016

JOHN HAY, a poem

AMID ferns and mosses brown,
From the little mountain-town,
     Through the driving rain they bore him,
Kearsarge frowning down:

Onward bore him, wrapped from sight
Under palms and blossoms white,—
     While the grieving hearts of thousands
Followed through the night

To that grave, love-sanctified,
Where, in the full summer-tide,
     Low they laid him, who had cherished
Sympathies world-wide.

Honored grave! Yet Azrael's dart
Only slays the mortal part,
     And they die not who have written
On the human heart.

Sad Roumania, far Peking,
East with West, his praise to sing
     Who deemed justice more than power,
Hither tribute bring;

And the mother-land who bore—
She whom most he labored for—
     Bows her head in sorrow, knowing
He returns no more.

Fame has crowned her own again,
Writing with illumined pen,—
     Lincoln's friend, who loved and truly
Served his fellow-men.
"John Hay" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Reader (October 1905) and Lyrics of Life (1909).

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