Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
Personal Poems
Samuel J. Tilden
Greystone, Aug. 4, 1886

ONCE more, O all-adjusting Death!
  The nation’s Pantheon opens wide;
Once more a common sorrow saith
  A strong, wise man has died.
Faults doubtless had he. Had we not        5
  Our own, to question and asperse
The worth we doubted or forgot
  Until beside his hearse?
Ambitious, cautious, yet the man
  To strike down fraud with resolute hand;        10
A patriot, if a partisan,
  He loved his native land.
So let the mourning bells be rung,
  The banner droop its folds half way,
And while the public pen and tongue        15
  Their fitting tribute pay,
Shall we not vow above his bier
  To set our feet on party lies,
And wound no more a living ear
  With words that Death denies?


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