James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

Dead In Sight Of Fame - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

DIED--Early morning of September 5, 1876, and
in the gleaming dawn of 'name and fame,'
Hamilton J. Dunbar.

Dead! Dead! Dead!
We thought him ours alone;
And were so proud to see him tread
The rounds of fame, and lift his head
Where sunlight ever shone;
But now our aching eyes are dim,
And look through tears in vain for him.

Name! Name! Name!
It was his diadem;
Nor ever tarnish-taint of shame
Could dim its luster--like a flame
Reflected in a gem,
He wears it blazing on his brow
Within the courts of Heaven now.

Tears! Tears! Tears!
Like dews upon the leaf
That bursts at last--from out the years
The blossom of a trust appears
That blooms above the grief;
And mother, brother, wife and child
Will see it and be reconciled.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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