Source: Effusions of the Soul
Source type: book
Document type: poem
Document title: “The Passing of McKinley”
Author(s): Bradley, Henry T.
Publisher: Broadway Publishing Co.
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1917
|Bradley, Henry T. “The Passing of McKinley.” Effusions of the Soul. New York: Broadway Publishing, 1917: pp. 10-12.|
|McKinley assassination (poetry); William McKinley (death: poetry).|
|George B. Cortelyou; Leon Czolgosz; Ida McKinley; William McKinley.|
The Passing of McKinley
The fifth of September was President’s Day.
At Buffalo, President, with Mrs. McKinley,
In the great tumultuous noise
Delivered an address that
Lives in the hearts of his friends,
That brought him great applause
The following day, at four o’clock,
In the temple of music,
A reception was held.
His face beamed forth with pleasure
All the while;
But amidst the throng that greets him,
One’s to sound his funeral knell.
A little girl steps up in line,
Stretched out her little hand.
The Executive grasps it firmly
And pats her on the head.
Next came a man of medium size,
As gaily as the rest,
But beneath a kandkerchief [sic] in his hand,
His greeting was of lead.
Secret service men all around him stood,
No thoughts of danger there.
The guilty wretch draws back,
McKinley was mortally wounded
By the dread anarchist clan.
But before this modern Judas
Has time to make escape,
The strong arm of a Negro brave and true
Had felled the assassin to the ground,
Had served his country, too.
In the arms of his faithful secretary
The wounded Executive grasped: 
“Cortelyou, my wife, be careful,
Don’t let her know.
And the assassin, let no one hurt him,”
He whispered soft and low.
For a minute a deathly silence
Hovered over this mighty throug [sic].
The scene that followed
Cannot be described:
The wild and frenzied crowd,
Clamoring for Czolgosz’s life;
But this boon to them was denied.
The wounded President was swiftly borne
To the home of a true, tried friend;
The doctors assembled in
The operating room.
The President was addressed
By one of the profession there.
In reply he said: “Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done.”
A stillness prevailed in the chamber of death.
Doctors’ attendants all around him stood;
The day was beautifully fair.
In a voice serene
The dying statesman chimed.
“I want to see the trees
They are so beautiful.”
Toward the close of this momentous day
The feeble light of the mighty candle grew dim.
“It is very gloomy, Doctor,
Different from yesterday;
Is the sunshine all gone?”
Alas! no, but going sure, for him.
His strength gave way,
In unconsciousness he slept.
When he awoke, he called his faithful wife.
In her sweet embrace he chanted:
“Nearer my God to Thee,” “Thy will be done,” 
And gave up his weary life.
Thus passed away one of the noblest,
The best of America’s sons.
Lamented, mourned, America stood still;
Every hamlet, every hut—
As the mighty chieftain passed away
Murmuring: “’Tis God’s will.”