Three times, amidst the flood tide of her glory
The cry of pain has hushed the nation’s cheers,
The lines of tragedy have dimmed her story,
And filled her sunlit eyes with blinding tears.
Her mighty millions toiling in their places
Have heard the fatal shot the bullet sped,
And turned with trembling lips and whitened faces
To see their leader falling, dying, dead.
Then as the rain descends where clouds are blowing
Across the skies sunlit an hour ago,
The Nation’s tears come fast and faster flowing,
She stood as one bereaved, her head bowed low.
For he who fell was not of common moulding,
Divinest currents through his nature ran,
And all the world his blameless life beholding,
Acknowledged him to be a Godlike man.
Upon her battle fields [sic] to save the nation,
He fought amidst the wounded and the slain
Then won, by worth, the highest elevation
A son of this Republic can obtain.
With human hearts he held a tender union.
His spirit by oppression deeply stirred,
Walked with his God in beautiful communion
And calmed the strife of passion by his word.
We may not utter words with hatred burning
Though we abhor red Crime’s death dealing powers,
Since he could say, his face to heaven turning,
“This is God’s way; His will be done, not ours.”
We bear him forth today with lamentation
The sobbing of a sorrow like the sea,
His death hymn chanted by a mourning nation,
“Nearer, my God, to thee; Nearer to thee.”
Our eyes turn sadly to the old home, weeping,
A stricken woman’s heart is breaking there;
God take her in his loving keeping
And hear in her behalf, a nation’s prayer.
This sorrow will but work for our refining,
A nation nobler for the cross she bore,
And on the white scroll of her history shining
William the Good shall stand forever more.