Publication information
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Source: Harper’s Weekly
Source type: magazine
Document type: poem
Document title: “William McKinley”
Author(s): Boutell, Henry Sherman
Date of publication: 28 December 1901
Volume number: 45
Issue number: 2349
Pagination: 1329

Boutell, Henry Sherman. “William McKinley.” Harper’s Weekly 28 Dec. 1901 v45n2349: p. 1329.
full text
William McKinley (death: poetry).
Named persons


William McKinley



What have we lost, who mourn a Nation’s chief,
     Struck down by one to whom he gave his trust,
     Amid the people whom he loved? His dust
Sleeps now within the silent tomb. Our grief
Wakes with each dawn to question our belief
     That God is just. Why are we thus bereft?
     Why was he taken and the outcast left?
Will time and faith bring sorrow sure relief?
Lost is the kindly presence that we knew;
     Calm, patient, wise, gentle yet strong of will.
The welcome grasp, the winning smile that drew
     All men to him are lost. The voice is still
Whose last farewell of love and faith, borne through
     The mists of death, we heard with solemn thrill.


What have we gained whose best-beloved friend
     The Lord hath called nearer to Him? Release
     From toil and strife is his reward, and peace
Which passeth understanding without end.
Can death bring gain to those whose prayers ascend
     For nightly visions of his vanished form;
     Or to the Nation which through calm and storm
His wisdom guided? Yes! For death can lend
Immortal power to words and deeds, as night
     Lends glory to the stars. This is our gain.
His words a deeper wisdom speak, and bright
     With their eternal worth his deeds remain.
Death cannot quench nor dim the living light
     Of his pure life which God took not in vain.

     WASHINGTON, December 16, 1901


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