Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “William McKinley”
Author(s): Van Cleve, Harriet Hemiup
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 51
Issue number: 10
|Van Cleve, Harriet Hemiup. “William McKinley.” Health Oct. 1901 v51n10: p. 344.|
|William McKinley (death: poetry); William McKinley (death: personal response).|
Died September 14, 1901.
We asked his life with prayers and tears,
By day and night, on land and sea;
Beset with hopes almost like fears,
We asked his life of Thee.
Around that couch of patient pain,
Hung, halo-like, a nation’s prayer,
So doubtful lest we asked in vain,
Its longing seemed despair.
Thou didst not send a stone for bread,
Or thwart the strong desire we brought,
But crowned that well-beloved head,
Beyond our hope or thought.
A life all splendid and serene,
Of rapturous bliss and calm repose;
The life his dauntless faith had seen,
His free, glad spirit knows.
We asked his life; thou answerest here,
With love and knowledge past our ways:
“I give not life by year on year,
But everlasting days.”
We sit as a nation under the shadow of a great sorrow.
Never in the history of the world has a death caused such universal mourning or brought forth such universal sympathy. The cathedral chimes of England, echoing across the sea, bring England’s lament for America’s sorrow. Flags at half mast with their mourning emblems encircle the whole world.
The sadness of death is not his, it is his country’s.
His dreams were realized. The country of his love he leaves powerful and prosperous.
His life was complete.
His death beautiful and triumphant.
He did his full duty, and died in doing it.
A benediction rests upon every American home because of his loyalty to that divine institution, and because of the tenderness and love he gave to the wife of his heart.
What a priceless heritage he has left us in his unspotted life—one to which every mother may point with pride.
“Lives of great men all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing, leave behind us,
Footprints on the sands of time.”