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Publication information
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Source: A Quiver of Arrows
Source type: book
Document type: poem
Document title: “An Elegy”
Author(s): Weitzel, Louise A.
Publisher: none given
Place of publication: none given
Year of publication: 1908
Pagination: 29-30

 
Citation
Weitzel, Louise A. “An Elegy.” A Quiver of Arrows. [n.p.]: [n.p.], 1908: pp. 29-30.
 
Transcription
full text
 
Keywords
William McKinley (death: poetry); McKinley assassination (poetry); Ida McKinley (poetry).
 
Named persons
William McKinley [in notes].
 
Notes
From page 30: President William McKinley was shot at the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, by an anarchist, September 6, 1901, and died September 14, 1901. This poem was published in the Lancaster New Era September 18, 1901.

From copyright page: The Express Printing Co., Lititz, PA.
 
Document

 

An Elegy

Who is lying on that bier?
     Well-a-day! Well-a-day!
One the Nation held most dear.
     Well-a-day! Well-a-day!

Sound the solemn funeral bell,
Far and wide the tidings tell
How the viper whom we nursed
Sent its venomed fangs accursed,
Sent them to the Nation’s heart,
Sent them to the Nation’s head.
For our crimes a good man bled.
Spread we ashes on our hair,
Hunt the serpent to its lair.
In the crime we all have part.

Sound the solemn funeral bell,
Sound aloud our Chieftain’s knell,
Tell the nations far and wide
How our noble Leader died.
Lowly our belovéd lies!
He the man whom we revered,
Whom all honored, no one feared,
He the statesman, wise and great,
Safe who steered our Ship of State.
Ah, he was a shining prize! [29][30]

Sound the solemn funeral bell.
Let the tongue be muffled well
Lest it send another soul
To our hero’s blessed goal,
Lest the gentle heart that beat
In communion with his own,
In the happy past as one
At the cruel blow should break,
Break at once for sweet love’s sake,
Make the sacrifice complete.

Sound the solemn funeral bell,
May the mournful peal foretell
Purer manhood, better laws,
While the stealthy worm that gnaws
At our vitals lives no more,
Not in vain the sacrifice,
Not in vain our hero dies
If his dying pave the way
For a happier, brighter day
By the seers foretold of yore.

Who is lying on the bier?
     Ah, well-a-day! Well-a-day!
’Tis our Chieftain lieth here.
     Ah, well-a-day! Well-a-day!

 

 


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