Publication information
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Source: Lyrics of Life
Source type: book
Document type: poem
Document title: “Apotheosis of the Nation’s Grief”
Author(s): Quick, Abraham Messler
Publisher: Board of Publication of the Reformed Church in America
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1906
Pagination: 113-14

Quick, Abraham Messler. “Apotheosis of the Nation’s Grief.” Lyrics of Life. New York: Board of Publication of the Reformed Church in America, 1906: pp. 113-14.
full text
William McKinley (mourning: poetry); William McKinley (poetry).
Named persons
William McKinley.
Line 14 of the poem (below) is footnoted as follows: “All wheels of traffic were brought to a standstill at the moment he was lowered in the tomb” (p. 113).


Apotheosis of the Nation’s Grief


At Burial of President Wm. McKinley, Sept. 19, 1901.

A STILLNESS grave, pervades the air,
     And Nature’s pulse beats faint and low,
While sepulture sad hearts prepare,
     For chief of mortals here below,
For him, whose motive to fulfill,
     The wise decrees of Heaven’s throne,
Controlled each thought, and act, and will,
     And made his force and merit known.

He lived to clutch the golden keys,
     That find their way to realms of fame,
To execute the State’s decrees,
     And policies of good to frame,
So let the Nation’s pulse go slow,
     And pause in honor of its chief,
While all the people praise bestow,
     And shed the tears of world-wide grief.

By virtue and religion swayed,
     At their behest each impulse bends, [113][114]
Thus our chieftain wrought and prayed,
     To further good and righteous ends,
And breasting well each tide of wrong,
     Their surges found him strong and brave
Ne’er overwhelmed, nor borne along
     On ill-timed crest of popular wave.

To mould his manhood true and strong,
     He sought out Heaven’s high design,
On scrolls of fame his deeds belong,
     Inspired and wrought by light divine,
And thus God’s nobleman was he,
     With heart and brain attuned by grace,
Building for immortality,
     Which hoary time can ne’er efface.

The warrior chief with victories won,
     His prowess life in love lays down,
And sweetly breathes, “God’s will be done,”
     And yields his throne for brighter crown,
While all unite in firm decree,
     That meed of praise shall world-wide be,
And dirges sweet to his memory,
     Shall be, Nearer my God to Thee,
                         Nearer to Thee.



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