’Tis not the President alone
Who, stricken by that bullet fell,
The assassin’s shot that laid him prone
Pierced a great nation’s heart
And when the baleful tidings sped,
From lip to lip throughout the
Then, as they deemed their ruler dead,
’Twas Liberty that cried aloud.
Ay, Liberty! for where the foam
Of oceans twain marks out the
’Tis there, in Freedom’s very home,
That Anarchy has maimed its host;
There ’tis that is has turned to bite
The hand that fed it; there repaid
A country’s welcome with black spite;
There, Judas like, that land betrayed.
For ’tis no despot that’s laid low,
But a free nation’s chosen chief;
A free man, stricken by a blow
Base, dastardly, past all belief.
And Tyranny exulting hears
The tidings flashed across the
While stern Repression hugs her fears,
And mouths them in a harsh decree.
Meanwhile the cloud, though black as death,
Is lined with hopes, hopes light
And liberty that, scant of breath,
Had watched the issue of the strife,
Fills the glad air with grateful cries
To find the sun no more obscured,
And with new yearnings in her eyes
Climbs to her watch-tower—reassured.