Verse Suited to the Day
Of course in an age like the present
when there are living in the United States perhaps 20,000 men and
women addicted to the writing of verse, and the most of them with
a certain felicity and melody, if not with distinct original conception,
it is to be expected that the late dreadful tragedy, personal and
national, will evoke multitudinous poems upon the most sad and far
reaching event. The Messenger has had much about the dreadful, deadly,
cruel work of the assassin and events following. But all this was
in prose. We wish to reproduce here a few lines from different writers
as to the “deep damnation of the taking off” of the Christian, most
popular and widely revered President McKinley.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox is we believe
of southern birth. She sent a poem to the New York Journal. The
last two stanzas (not “verse,” for that means but one line) are
He has raised the lover’s standard, by his loyalty and faith.
He has shown how virile manhood may keep free from scandal’s
He has gazed, with trust unshaken, in the awful eye of death.
In the mighty march of progress he has sought to do his best.
Let his enemies be silent, as we lay him down to rest,
And may God assuage the anguish of one suffering woman’s breast.
Some one wrote on “He Sleeps” in
the Washington Post. The following stanzas are not without merit:
O, thou noble heart and grand, smiling from that nightless
Take my reverence and my grief as a tiny tribute leaf,
Just to lie beside thy hand.
As the fainting runner fell with the woe he strove to tell,
So the words grow dull and weak with the sorrow they would speak,
That thy people loved thee well.
Agnes Nourse in the same paper contributes
some stanzas. We give the conclusion:
Calm as the sun thy peace shall be
Bright as the sun thy joy,
Bliss that is bountiful as he,
Thy spirit shall employ.
Gone thy brief sway, but, thou hast said
“Let God’s great kingdom come;”
Securely there thy feet shall tread,
Thy heart shall find its home.
Thy voice in rapture there shall sing
“Nearer, My God, to Thee,”
“Thy will be done,” triumphant ring
Through all eternity.
D. J. Evans sends to the Post a poem
entitled “Ave Atque Vale”—Hail and Farewell! We copy the first and
The earth is full of tears! McKinley’s
Soul-anguished words! That plunged
in dire distress
A startled world! Who cry for
Unto the dastard spawns who flaunt the Red.
His work is done! He sleeps in plenteous Peace!
He’s passed into the presence
of the King!
Ye wailing bells—a jubilee now
Chime Hallelujahs! Let the Requiems cease!
John A. Joyce contributes to The
Post “Half-Mast the Flag.” The last stanza runs:
Half-mast the flag while our teardrops are falling
Above his lone bier, ’neath the
While angels are soaring and singing and calling
A welcoming chant to his heavenly
These are not memorable productions
but they are suitable to this day of solemn humiliation and prayer.
May the Holy Spirit’s power be felt in all of the hearts of our