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Source: Brambles and Twigs of Song
Source type: book
Document type: poem
Document title: “President McKinley”
Author(s): Keane, John Augustin
Publisher: Broadway Publishing Comp’y
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1910
Pagination: 263-64

Keane, John Augustin. “President McKinley.” Brambles and Twigs of Song. New York: Broadway Publishing, 1910: pp. 263-64.
full text
William McKinley (poetry).
Named persons
Jesus Christ.
From title page: By John Augustin Keane, Author of “Mr. Grub’s Vacation,” “The Tenor of the Sistine Chapel.”


President McKinley

     “The surgeons attending the wounded President announce that he has a high fever and that he imagines himself amid old scenes. In lucid intervals he speaks of being tired and very weary.”—September 15, 1901.

“I am tired and very weary”
      Were the words he feebly said,
 As he lay all weak and helpless
      As an infant on his bed,
 While his lips were parched with fever
      And his body racked with pain,
 Till the tide of life within him
      Seemed too low to rise again.

“I am tired and very weary,”
      Oh, the pathos of the plaint,
 Coming from a strong man stricken,
      Words cannot but fail to paint!
 Like a lion, weak and helpless,
      Struggling from a serpent’s sting,
 Or a pigmy-vanquished giant,
      Lies the one of whom I sing.

“I am tired and very weary”
      And an earth-wide surge of grief,
 Like a plaintive fugue in minor,
      Rises for the stricken Chief,
 Till the millions hear the echo
      Of the universal strain,
 And pray Christ, the Healer’s pity,
      That he walk in strength again.

“I am tired and very weary”
      Yes, poor heart! the plaint is told
 Everywhere by souls pain burdened,
      Now as in the days of old;
 By the child that makes its pillow
      On a loving mother’s breast,
 And the world and pain-worn mortals,
      Longing but for peace and rest.

“I am tired and very weary,”
      And ere long the fevered hours
 Waft him to the scenes of childhood,
      Where he romps mid weeds and flowers; [263][264]
 Where the days are ever brightest,
      And the nights most full of rest,
 And the life of careless freedom
      Seems the happiest and best.

 Then amid the toil and struggle
      For the bread most fairly won,
 Gaining health and strength in labor,
      Ere more favored had begun,
 Using hands and brains together,
      In the race to reach his aim,
 Mounting up and onward ever,
      To the pinnacle of fame.

 Now amid his much prized home scenes
      Walks he, as in days agone,
 With his wife and little children,
      Happy as the sun shone on;
 Now amid the wars’ confusion,
      Now with rulers of the land,
 Now a great Republic’s chieftain,
      Stricken by a curséd hand!

“I am tired and very weary”
      Ah! the pity of it all.
 Would to God a praying nation
      Could his passing strength recall;
 Would its tears and supplications
      Could relieve the ceaseless pain.
 Heal the wounded flesh, and raise him
      From the fevered bed again.



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