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Why for his power benign seek an im

purer source ? His was the true enthusiasm that burns

long, Domestically bright, Fed from itself and shy of human sight, The hidden force that makes a litetime

strong, And not the short-lived fuel of a song Passionless, say you? What is passion

for But to sublime our natures and control To front heroic toils with late return, Or none, or such as shames the con

queror? That fire was fed with substance of the

soul And not with holiday stubble, that

could burn, Unpraised of men who after bonfires

run, Through seven slow years of unadvan

cing war, Equal when fields were lost or fields

were won, With breath of popular applause or

blame, Nor fanned nor damped, unquench

ably the same, Too inward to be reached by flaws of

idle fame.


as now

O, for a drop of that Cornelian ink Which gave Agricola dateless length

of days, To celebrate him fitly, neither swerve To phrase unkempt, nor pass discre

tion's brink, With him so statue-like in sad reserve, So diffident to claim, so forward to de

serve! Nor need I shun due influence of his

fame Who, mortal among mortals, seemed The equestrian shape with unimpas

sioned brow, That paces silent on through vistas of acclaim.

2. What figure more immovably august Than that grave strength so patient

and so pure, Calm in good fortune, when it wavered,

sure, That mind serene, impenetrably just, Modelled on classic lines so simple

they endure? That soul so softly radiant and so

white The track it left seems less of fire than

light, Cold but to such as love distempera

ture? And if pure light, as some deem, be

the force That drives rejoicing planets on their


3. Soldier and statesman, rarest unison; High-poised example of great duties

done Simply as breathing, a world's honors

worn As life's indifferent gifts to all men

born ; Dumb for himself, unless it were to

God, But for his barefoot soldiers eloquent, Tramping the snow to coral where they

trod, Held by his awe in hollow-eyed con

tent; Mcdest, yet firm as Nature's self; un

blamed Save by the men his nobler temper

shamed; Never seduced through show of present

good By other than unsetting lights to steer


New-trimmed in Heaven, nor than his

steadfast mood More steadfast, far from rashness as

from fear; Rigid, but with himself first, grasping

still In swerveless poise the wave-beat

helm of will; Not honored then or now because he

wooed The popular voice, but that he still

withstood; Broad-minded, higher-souled, there is

but one Who was all this and ours, and all


The habitual full-dress of his well-bred

mind, That seems to pace the minuet's courtly And tell of ampler leisures, roomier

length of days. His firm-based brain, to self so little

kind That no tumultuary blood could blind, Formed to control men, not amaze, Looms not like those that borrow

height of haze : It was a world of statelier movement

then Than this we fret in, he a denizen Of that ideal Roine that made a man

for men.


4. Minds strong by fits, irregularly great, That flash and darken like revolving

lights, Catch more the vulgar eye unschooled

to wait On the long curve of patient days and

nights Rounding a whole life to the circle fair Of orbed fulfilment; and this balanced

soul, So simple in its grandeur, coldly bare Of draperies theatric, standing there In perfect symmetry of self-control, Seems not so great at first, but greater

grows Still as we look, and by experience

learn How grand this quiet is, how nobly

stern The discipline that wrought through

lifelong throes That energetic passion of repose.

I. The longer on this earth we live And weigh the various qualities of men, Seeing how most are fugitive, Or fitful gifts, at best, of now and then, Wind-wavered corpse-lights, daughters

of the fen, The more we feel the high stern

featured beauty Of plain devotedness to duty,, Steadfast and still, nor paid with mortal

praise, But finding amplest recompense For life's ungarlanded expense In work done squarely and unwasted

days. For this we honor him, that he could

know How sweet the service and how free Of her, God's eldest daughter here be

low, And choose in meanest raiment which

was she.


5. A nature too decorous and severe, Too self-respectful in its griefs and

joys, For ardent girls and boys Who find no genius in a mind so clear That its grave depths seem obvious and

near, Nor a soul great that made so little

noise. They feel no force in that calm-cadenced


Placid completeness, life without a fall From faith or highest aims, truth's

breachless wall, Surely if any fame can bear the touch, His will say “ Here!” at the last trum

pet's call, The unexpressive man whose life ex

pressed so much.


Yet drew not back his hand, but gravely

chose The seeming-desperate task whence our

new nation rose.


NEVER to see a nation born
Hath been given to mortal man,
Unless to those who, on that summer

Gazed silent when the great Virginian
Unsheathed the sword whose fatal flash
Shot union through the incoherent clash
Of our loose atoms, crystallizing them
Around a single will's unpliant stem,
And making purpose of emotion rash.
Out of that scabbard sprang, as from its

womb, Nebulous at first but hardening to a star, Through mutual share of sunburst and

of gloom, The common faith that made us what

we are.


That lifted blade transformed our jan

gling clans, Till then provincial, to Americans, And made a unity of wildering plans; Here was the doom fixed : here is

marked the date When this New World awoke to man's

estate, Burnt its last ship and ceased to look

behind: Nor thoughtless was the choice ; no love

or hate Could from its poise move that deliber

ate mind, Weighing between too early and too late Those pitfalls of the man refused by

Fate : His was the impartial vision of the great Who see not as they wish, but as they

find. He saw the dangers of defeat, nor less The incomputable perils of success; The sacred past thrown by, an empty

rind; The future, cloud-land, snare of proph

ets blind The waste of war, the ignominy of

peace; On either hand a sullen rear of woes, Whose garnered lightnings none could

guess, Piling its thunder-heads and muttering

“ Cease!”

3. A noble choice and of immortal seed ! Nor deem that acts heroic wait on

chance Or easy were as in a boy's romance; The man's whole life preludes the single

deed That shall decide if his inheritance Be with the sifted few of matchless

breed, Our race's sap and sustenance, Or with the unmotived herd that only

sleep and feed. Choice seems a thing indifferent; thus

or so, What matters it? The Fates with

mocking face Look on inexorable, nor seem to know Where the lot lurks that gives life's

foremost place. Yet Duty's leaden casket holds it still, And but two ways are offered to our will, Toil with rare triumph, ease with safe

disgrace, The problem still for us and all of hu

man race. He chose, as men choose, where most

danger showed, Nor ever faltered 'neath the load Of petty cares, that gall great hearts the

most, But kept right on the strenuous up-hill

road, Strong to the end, above complaint or

boast : The popular tempest on his rock-mailed

coast Wasted its wind-borne spray, The noisy marvel of a day; His soul sate still in its unstormed



VIRGINIA gave us this imperial man
Cast in the massive mould
Of those high-statured ages old
Which into grander forms our mortal

metal ran;




She gave us this unblemished gentle

man: What shall we give her back but love

and praise As in the dear old unestrangëd days Before the inevitable wrong began? Mother of States and undiminished

men, Thou gavest us a country, giving him, And we owe alway what we owed thee

then : The boon thou wouldst have snatched

from us agen Shines as before with no abatement dim. A great man's memory is the only thing With influence to outlast the present

whim And bind us as when here he knit our

golden ring. All of him that was subject to the hours Lies in thy soil and makes it part of

ours: Across more recent graves, Where unresentful Nature waves Her pennons o'er the shot-ploughed

sod, Proclaiming the sweet Truce of God, We from this consecrated plain stretch Our hands as free from afterthought or

doubt As here the united North Poured her embrownöd manhood forth In welcome of our savior and thy son. Through battle we have better learned

thy worth, The long-breathed valor and undaunted

will, Which, like his own, the day's disaster

done, Could, safe in manhood, suffer and be

still. Both thine and ours the victory hardly

won ; If ever with distempered voice or pen We have misdeemed thee, here we take

it back, And for the dead of both don common

black. Be to us evermore as thou wast then, As we forget thou hast not always been, Mother of States and unpolluted men, Virginia, fitly named from England's

manly queen!


I. ENTRANCEN I saw a vision in the cloud That loitered dreaming in yon sunset

sky, Full of fair shapes, half creatures of the

eye, Half chance-evoked by the wind's fan

tasy In golden mist, an ever-shifting crowd: There, mid unreal forms that came and

went In robes air-spun, of evanescent dye, A woman's semblance shone pre-emi

nent; Not armed like Pallas, not like Hera

proud, But, as on household diligence intent, Beside her visionary wheel she bent Like Aretë or Bertha, nor than they Less queenly in her port : about her

knee Glad children clustered confident in

play : Placid her pose, the calm of energy ; And over her broad brow in many a

round (That loosened would have gilt her gar

ment's hem), Succinct, as toil prescribes, the hair was

wound In lustrous coils, a natural diadem. The cloud changed shape, obsequious

to the whim Of some transmuting influence felt in

me, And, looking now, a wolf I seemed to Limned in that vapor, gaunt and hun

ger-bold, Threatening her charge : resolve in

every limb, Erect she flamed in mail of sun-wove

gold, Penthesilea's self for battle dight; One arm uplifted braced a flickering

spear, And one her adamantine shield made



Crash of navies and wave-borne thun.

der; Then drifted the cloud-rack a-lee, And new stars were seen, a world's

wonder ;
Each by her sisters made bright,
All binding all to their stations,
Cluster of manifold light
Startling the old constellations:
Men looked up and grew pale :
Was it a comet or star,
Omen of blessing or bale,
Hung o'er the ocean afar?


Her face, helm-shadowed, grew a thing

to fear, And her fierce eyes, by danger chal

lenged, took Her trident-sceptred mother's dauntless

look. I know thee now, O goddess-born!”

I cried, And turned with loftier brow and firmer

stride ; For in that spectral cloud-work I had Her image, bodied forth by love and

pride, The fearless, the benign, the mother

eyed, The fairer world's toil-consecrated queen.

2. What shape by exile dreamed elates

the mind Like hers whose hand, a fortress of No blood in lawful vengeance spilt be

stains ? Who never turned a suppliant from

her door? Whose conquests are the gains of all

mankind? To-day her thanks shall fly on every

wind, Unstinted, unrebuked, from shore to

shore, One love, one hope, and not a doubt

behind ! Cannon to cannon shall repeat her

praise, Banner to banner flap it forth in flame; Her children shall rise up to bless her

name, And wish her harmless length of days, The mighty mother of a mighty brood, Blessed in all tongues and dear to every

blood, The beautiful, the strong, and, best of

all, the good!

the poor,

4. Stormy the day of her birth: Was she not born of the strong, She, the last ripeness of earth, Beautiful, prophesied long? Stormy the days of her prime : Hers are the pulses that beat Higher for perils sublime, Making them fawn at her feet. Was she not born of the strong? Was she not born of the wise? Daring and counsel belong Of right to her confident eyes: Human and motherly they, Careless of station or race : Hearken ! her children to-day Shout for the joy of her face.



No praises of the past are hers,
No fanes by hallowing time caressed,
No broken arch that ministers
To some sad instinct in the breast :
She has not gathered from the years
Grandeur of tragedies and tears,
Nor from long leisure the unrest
That finds repose in forms of classic

grace : These may delight the coming race Who haply shall not count it to our

crime That we who fain would sing are here

before our time. She also hath her monuments; Not such as stand decrepitly resigned To ruin-mark the path of dead events

3. Seven years long was the bow Of battle bent, and the heightening Storm-heaps convulsed with the throe Of their uncontainable lightening; Seven years long heard the sea

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