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Poem by Charles Graham Halpine


He filled the Nation's eyes and heart,
  An honored, loved, familiar name;
  So much a brother that his fame
Seemed of our lives a common part.

His towering figure, sharp and spare,
  Was with such nervous tension strung,
  As if on each strained sinew swung
The burden of a people's care.

His changing face, what pen can draw--
  Pathetic, kindly, droll or stern;
  And with a glance so quick to learn
The inmost truth of all he saw.

Pride found no place to spawn
  Her fancies in his busy mind.
  His worth, like health or air, could find
No just appraisal till withdrawn.

He was his country's--not his own;
  He had no wish but for the weak,
  Nor for himself could think or feel,
But as a laborer for her throne.

Her flag upon the heights of power--
  Stainless and unassayed to place,
  To this one end his earnest face
Was bent through every burdened hour.

  .      .      .      .      .

But done the battle--won the strife;
  When torches light his vaulted tomb,
  Broad gems flash out and crowns illume
The clay-cold brow undecked in life.

  .      .      .      .      .

O, loved and lost! Thy patient toil
  Had robed our cause in victory's light;
  Our country stood redeemed and bright,
With not a slave on all her soil.

'Mid peals of bells and cannon's bark,
  And shouting streets with flags abloom,
  Sped the shrill arrow of thy doom,
And, in an instant, all was dark!

  .      .      .      .      .

A martyr to the cause of man,
  His blood is Freedom's Eucharist,
  And in the world's great hero list
His name shall lead the van.

Yes! ranked on Faith's white wings unfurled
  In Heaven's pure light, of him we say,
  "He fell on the self-same day
A Greater died to save the world."

Charles Graham Halpine

Charles Graham Halpine's other poems:
  1. Soon We'll Have the Union Back
  2. The Song of the Soldiers
  3. April 20, 1864
  4. The Same Canteen
  5. The Hill of Killenarden

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • John Cheney Lincoln ("The hour was on us; where the man?")
  • Madison Cawein Lincoln ("Yea, this is he, whose name is synonym")
  • Vachel Lindsay Lincoln ("Would I might rouse the Lincoln in you all")

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