Source: Sunday Leader
Source type: newspaper
Document type: poem
Document title: “The Nation’s Dead”
Author(s): Pease, Raymond B.
City of publication: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Date of publication: 15 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: none
|Pease, Raymond B. “The Nation’s Dead.” Sunday Leader 15 Sept. 1901: part 1, p. .|
|William McKinley (mourning: poetry); McKinley assassination (poetry).|
|The print quality of the original document is poor, rendering some punctuation difficult or impossible to read. A best guess is given below as to what the punctuation is intended to be.|
The Nation’s Dead
Columbia kneels, today, beside the bier
Of her high chosen one; and at her side
The gentle form, beloved of her and him,
Is by her arm upborne; and, grouped around,
Lamenting nations bow their heads, and pay,
From heavy eyes, their tribute to her dead.
And here, but hid ’neath many a crafty guise,
The immortal foe of God and man doth view
With gloating eyes the horrid work of this
His last and greatest falsehood, Anarchy.
Again he strikes at laws from Heaven given,
At Order, Office, Justice, Government;
Again he proudly mocks the law Divine,
While his curs’d angels with their voice malign,
Applaud his deep and damnable design.
And oh! the priceless sacrifice!
Upon that brow such majesty encrowned
As only Freedom’s chosen one might wear!
And in the eyes, embodied, all the grace,
And Dignity, and Kindness of the Law!
The hand that was his country’s tho’ she willed
To follow or to lead! and that calm mind
Which e’er restrained our passions, but which led
Tow’rd wider, deeper good for all mankind!
To him wise Providence hath giv’n, to guide
The Peoples of Despair; and unto them
He gave with liberal hand from Freedom’s store.
No Emp’ror he, but Leader; not of lands,
But men, was he the Chief; and now, at rest,
A thousand peoples, rise and call him blest.
But oh! we weep, Great Heart! we weep for thee!
That hand was aimed at all of us; but thou
Hast drawn unto thyself the coward blow,
And hid its dart within thy breast, and now
On Freedom’s highest seat art stricken low.
Why is the face of Heaven hid from us!
How can it countenance this hellish wrong
Nor strike with bolts of fire, and all consume
Who gave by word or thought to this fell deed!
Why must the chosen fall before the mob!
Why must the righteous suffer from the wrong—
The son of Love the cross; the Sons of Truth
The ax, the wrack, the flame; and in these days
From leaden dart, our Sons of Liberty!
Oh God! Forgive the angry words and tears,
That throng for utterance, burn upon our lids,
Lamenting him, our champion [and?] our choice.
Teach us that broader stronger manliness,
By which his own great victories were won:
The just, sublime, heroic gentleness
That said—“Forgive,”—“My Wife,”—
“Thy will be done.”
Eau Claire, Wis., Sept. 14, 1901.