Written by request, for the occasion of the depositing of Abraham Lincoln's remains in the tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL.
We mourn for him whose soul on heights divine
Has reached the stature of the undefiled,
In whom a judgment ripe and honor fine
Were blended with the nature of a child;
Whose pen with patient toil and godlike grace
Picked out the puzzled knot of slavery;
Unclasped the gyves that bound a hapless race,
And dared to write "the bondman shall be free."
The kind humanities that graced his life,
The tenderness which through his justice shone;
The sympathy that softened human strife
And made a brother's suffering his own;
The life which shadowed forth the perfect plan
Of heaven's law of equity and right:
Such were the attributes, and such the man
Whom death has hidden from our mortal sight.
His deeds move onward, though his life is done;
His words still sway us like a mighty host.
"Write down," he said, "my humble name as one
Whose love of country was his highest boast."
O man of men, whose name we all revere!--
The dearest name in Liberty's fair crown!--
Only thy corse rests in these chambers here;
Death cannot touch thy honor and renown!
Along the years his gentle words shall fall--
"With malice towards none, with charity for all;"
And men shall write in tears upon his grave,
"He bound the nation, and unbound the slave."