Today marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln. As a tribute I have written this poem:
Now He Belongs to the Ages
Our country rejoices in peace come at last,
Now avarice and strife are confined to the past.
The sword it is shivered and there in its stead,
The olive branch waves o’er the field of the dead.
The four years long struggle is finally done,
The dark night is finished and bright dawns the sun,
The cannons have ceased their deafening roar,
While the shriek of the fife resounds never more.
Our banner victorious, we broke tyranny’s chain,
And joined North and South together again.
Exult all ye people, from East to the West,
We have withstood the fires and passed through the test!
But what is this shadow that’s lending its pall,
And turned sweetest vict’ry to bitterest gall?
The loathsome assassin has fired a blow,
That found its dread mark and laid our Chief low.
The Jubilee is quenched on this blackest of days,
And hope fallen cold where our brave Captain lays.
The time of our triumph intended for gladness,
Is drained of its joy and instead changed to sadness.
How little we valued while he was yet ours,
And failed to acknowledge the strength of his powers.
When he was among us, his greatness too near,
Now that he’s left us the truth becomes clear.
He was man of the people and yet stood alone,
Whom many have seen, but little have known.
Open and frank, yet guarded, contained,
Laughingly cheerful mixed with sadness and pain.
He was kind and forgiving, but solid and steady,
Deliberate and patient, yet active and ready,
Humble of character and humble of birth,
That belied his significance and obscured his worth.
Oh anomaly of men! Our comprehension failed,
Until his spirit had already passed through the veil.
Now he is counted among the rulers and sages,
He is no longer ours, now he belongs to the ages.
April 15, 2015