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[250]

On the life-mask of Abraham Lincoln

This bronze doth keep the very form and mould
Of our great martyr's face. Yes, this is he:
That brow all wisdom, all benignity;
That human, humorous mouth; those cheeks that hold
Like some harsh landscape all the summer's gold;
That spirit fit for sorrow, as the sea
For storms to beat on; the lone agony
Those silent, patient lips too well foretold.
Yes, this is he who ruled a world of men
As might some prophet of the elder day—
Brooding above the tempest and the fray
With deep-eyed thought and more than mortal ken,
A power was his beyond the touch of art
Or armed strength—his pure and mighty heart.


The second inaugural address

Delivered by Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1864. this, the greatest of presidential inaugurals and one of the noblest papers ever penned by an American statesman, expresses well the largeness of soul which held a whole warring nation within his love, and has won for him the homage of a reunited people. Though delivered little more than a month before the closing scene at Appomattox, it voices no exultation in the triumph of a cause dear to his heart, but with infinite pity and a truly sublime magnanimity enters into the feelings of those who have lost.


Fellow-countrymen: At this second appearing to take the oath of the presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued, seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest

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