Alice Cary

(1820-1871 / USA)

Abraham Lincoln


No glittering chaplet brought from other lands!
As in his life, this man, in death, is ours;
His own loved prairies o'er his 'gaunt, gnarled hands,'
Have fitly drawn their sheet of summer flowers!

What need hath he now of a tardy crown,
His name from mocking jest and sneer to save
When every plowman turns his furrow down
As soft as though it fell upon his grave?

He was a man whose like the world again
Shall never see, to vex with blame or praise;
The landmarks that attest his bright, brief reign,
Are battles, not the pomps of gala days!

The grandest leader of the grandest war
That ever time in history gave a place,-
What were the tinsel flattery of a star
To such a breast! or what a ribbon's grace!

'Tis to th' man, and th' man's honest worth,
The Nation's loyalty in tears upsprings;
Through him the soil of labor shines henceforth,
High o'er the silken broideries of kings.

The mechanism of eternal forms-
The shifts that courtiers put their bodies through-
Were alien ways to him: his brawny arms
Had other work than posturing to do.

Submitted: Friday, April 11, 2014

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