Source type: book
Document type: poem
Document title: “Our Dead Chieftain”
Author(s): Foster, Elizabeth May
Publisher: Broadway Publishing Company
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1905
|Foster, Elizabeth May. “Our Dead Chieftain.” Poems. New York: Broadway Publishing, 1905: pp. 12-14.|
|William McKinley (death: poetry); William McKinley (mourning: poetry); William McKinley (poetry).|
A footnote to the poem reads: “President McKinley, September 19, 1901.”
From title page: By Elizabeth May Foster, of Virginia.
Our Dead Chieftain
ENWRAPPED in gloom our Nation is,
For its great chief has passed away;
And with sad hearts and tolling bells,
We yield his form to earth to-day.
“No North, no South, no East, no West!”
We are a band of brothers true,
And mourn alike the loss of one
Whose virtues every section knew. 
With wise foresight, with noble aim,
He firmly for the right did stand,
And helped to make us what we are,
A prosperous, happy, peaceful land.
We see him stricken from the earth,
In prime of life, with honors rare,
And as a Nation stand aghast
That Anarchy could such crime dare.
“God’s will is best!” Ah! noble soul!
With all earth’s glories clustering ’round,
He bowed submissive to that will,
Attesting he True Love had found.
In plaintive tones that dying prayer,
“Nearer, My God, to Thee,” we sing,
’Mid muffled drums and funeral march
And vision of the one true King.
Unitedly our nation mourns
The loss of one so wise and pure,
And for his second, dearer self
Invokes the strength that can endure. 
A man ’mong men, not soon shall we
Such kingly spirit see again!
To-day all evil thoughts are hushed—
We feel he has not died in vain.
His soul was loyal to each trust;
Devotion in his heart was shrined;
And, grateful, we the tribute give:
McKinley lived to bless mankind!