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[260] door-mat. But the next day, to use his own words, something gave him a jog, and the whole thing came out with a rush. Mrs. Lowell said that ‘he began it at ten o'clock. At four in the morning he came to her door and said: ‘it is done and I am going to sleep now.’ she opened her eyes to see him standing haggard, actually wasted by the stress of labor and the excitement which had carried him through a poem, full of passion and fire, of 523 lines in the space of six hours.’

the writing of the first strophe given below is thus described by Horace Scudder in his biography of Lowell, from which the above quotation is also taken: ‘the sixth stanza was not recited, but was written immediately afterward. It is so completely imbedded in the structure of the ode that it is difficult to think of it as an afterthought. It is easy to perceive that while the glow of composition and of recitation was still upon him Lowell suddenly conceived this splendid illustration and indeed climax of the utterance of the ideal which is so impressive in the fifth stanza. So free, so spontaneous is this characterization of Lincoln, and so concrete in thought, that it has been most frequently read, we suspect, of any single portion of the ode, and it is so eloquent that one likes to fancy the whole force of the ode behind it, as if Lowell needed the fire he had fanned to a white heat, for the very purpose of forging this last, firm-tempered bit of steel.’

Such was he, our Martyr-Chief,
Whom late the Nation he had led,
With ashes on her head,
Wept with the passion of an angry grief:
Forgive me, if from present things I turn
To speak what in my heart will beat and burn,
And hang my wreath on his world-honored urn.
Nature, they say, doth dote,
And cannot make a man
Save on some worn-out plan,
Repeating us by rote:
For him her Old-World moulds aside she threw,
And, choosing sweet clay from the breast
Of the unexhausted West,
With stuff untainted shaped a hero new,
Wise, steadfast in the strength of God, and true.
How beautiful to see
Once more a shepherd of mankind indeed,
Who loved his charge, but never loved to lead;
One whose meek flock the people joyed to be,

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