Source: Home and Flowers
Source type: magazine
Document type: poem
Document title: “September Nineteenth, Nineteen Hundred and One”
Author(s): Cutting, Mrs. W. A.
Date of publication: November 1901
Volume number: 11
Issue number: 1
|Cutting, Mrs. W. A. “September Nineteenth, Nineteen Hundred and One.” Home and Flowers Nov. 1901 v11n1: p. 12.|
|William McKinley (mourning: poetry); William McKinley (death: poetry).|
|“By Mrs. W. A. Culling” [sic] (p. 12).|
September Nineteenth, Nineteen Hundred and One
Upon the Nation’s mourning brow the crown of grief is set.
From sea to sea throbs one great heart with sorrow and regret.
She mourns her latest loyal son, whose utmost gift was laid
Upon her shrine, with single heart, serene, and unafraid.
Well may the mourning banners droop beneath the autumn skies.
Well may the sable emblems seek her grief to symbolize.
With toll of bells and cannon’s boom, with lofty hymn and prayer,
And all the solemn pomp of grief, him to his rest we bear.
Not for the soldier, ardent, brave, and flushed with courage high,
Who led his columns long ago to well-earned victory,
Not for the chief, august and great, revered from shore to shore,
Not for the statesman, ripe for power, our deepest grief we pour.
But for the uncorrupted heart, the simple life and true,
The faithful hand, the gen’rous mind, the man his loved ones knew;
For the stanch soul who looked on death with an undaunted eye,
And won forever in all hearts a bloodless victory.
The worker falls; the work goes on. The standard-bearer dies;
A hundred hands are stretched to lift the banner to the skies.
A thousand hearts espouse the cause for ev’ry martyr slain.
No hope is born but is baptized with tears of grief and pain.
Grant us, O Lord of Hosts, the hope of perfect rule and pure,
The brotherhood of sacrifice for that which will endure,
The liberty that means at last the highest fealty
And full obedience unto law of most divine decree.
O, who would grudge the slightest aid the costliest offering lends
Unto that mighty reign of peace whereto all service tends!
O, twine the laurel, wreathe the bay, bring lilies and the palm!
A strain of triumph sounds amid the penitential psalm.
In her humility of loss, th’ abasement of her need,
Yet crowned the mourning Nation sits, yea, proudly crowned indeed.
The greatest of her sons has given what e’en the lowliest may—
A faithful life, a trustful death, an heritage for aye.