Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
January 23
On the Death of Canon Kingsley
By Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830–1886)
 
(Died Jan. 23, 1875)

MORTALS there are who seem, all over, flame,
Vitalized radiance, keen, intense, and high,
Whose souls, like planets in a dominant sky,
Burn with full forces of eternity:
 
Such was his soul, and such the light which came        5
From that pure heaven he lived in; holiest worth
Of will and work was his, to brighten earth,
Heal its foul wounds, and beautify its dearth.
 
He dwelt in clear white purity apart,
Yet walked the world; through many a sufferer’s door        10
He shone like morning; comfort streamed before
His footsteps; on the feeble and the poor
 
He lavished the rich spikenard of his heart.
Christ’s soldier! To his trumpet-call he sprung,
Eager, elate; valiant of pen and tongue,        15
Grand were the words he spake, the songs he sung.
 
Still, hero-priest! born out of thy due time—
Thou shouldst have lived when on thine England’s sod
Giants of faith and seers of freedom trod,
Daring all things to break the oppressor’s rod.        20
 
Great in thine own age, thou hadst been sublime
In theirs—that age of fervent, fruitful breath,
When, scorning treachery, and defying death,
Her true knights girt their loved Elizabeth,
 
Seeing on her the centuries’ hopes were set;        25
Then hadst thou ranged with Raleigh land and sea,
Bible and sword in hand, gone forth with Leigh,
The tyrant smote, the heathen folk made free!
 
Yea! but to God and grace thou hast paid thy debt,
In measure scarce less glorious and complete        30
Than theirs who bearded on his chosen seat
The bloody Antichrist; or fleet to fleet,
 
Thundered through storms of battle-wrack and fire
At Britain’s Salamis; the heroic strain
Ran purpling all thy nature like a vein        35
Oped from God’s heart to thine; the loftiest plane
 
Of thought and action, purpose and desire
Thou trod’st on triumphing; thy Viking’s face
Showed granite-willed, yet softened into grace
By effluence of good deeds, the angelic race        40
Of prayers to prompt, and aid them! Fare thee well,
Clear spirit and strong! thy life-work nobly done,
Shines beautiful as some unsetting sun
O’er Arctic summers; chords of victory run
Even through the mournful boom of thy deep funeral knell!        45
 
 
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