Publication information
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Source: Baltimore American
Source type: newspaper
Document type: poem
Document title: “At Rest”
Author(s): Nesbit, Wilbur D.
City of publication: Baltimore, Maryland
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 191
Issue number: 34812
Pagination: 6

Nesbit, Wilbur D. “At Rest.” Baltimore American 14 Sept. 1901 v191n34812: p. 6.
full text
William McKinley (death: poetry); William McKinley (mourning: poetry).
Named persons
The poem (below) appears in a column titled “Notes and Notions.”

“W. D. Nesbit (Josh Wink)” (p. 6).


At Rest

At rest—
Folded hands across his breast;
In the rest that was desired
By his murmured “I am tired.”
Not a shadow on his face,
Where a smile has left its trace
As though Death his marble lips
Touched with tender fingertips.
And we wonder if the peace
     Which his form encompasseth
Is the glory of his life,
     Or the majesty of death.

            *        *        *        *

And from all the land there comes,
     As the requiems grandly surge,
With the lilt of muffled drums,
     Sighing strains of Sorrow’s dirge.
Aye! A nation’s heart is rent
     In the greatness of its throbs.
See the Gate of Grief unpent;
     Hear a stricken nation’s sobs!

            *        *        *        *

At rest—
With his hands prone on his breast.
Weary hands, that rest today
From their pointing out the way;
Weary hands, that wrought for peace;
Hands that bade the warfare cease;
Weary hands—as white and fair
As the waxen lilies there.
Though his soul has journeyed on,
Still—there is the coming dawn,
And the Sorrow of Today
Bringeth Hope with her alway [sic].

            *        *        *        *

Who can sing a good man’s deeds?
     Who can sing a good man’s worth,
When his wisdom planted seeds
     That have bloomed o’er all the earth,
When his wondrous mind and hand
     Have achieved results sublime?
They—a monument will stand
     That endureth for all time.

            *        *        *        *

At rest—
Quiet hands across his breast.
And the West shall bring her rose,
     And the South her lilies white,
And the daisies of the North
     Be the stars in Sorrow’s night.
Aye, the West shall bring her rose,
     And the East her violet,
And the garland of them all
     With a nation’s tears be wet.



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