For years, dear friend, but rarely had we met,
Fate in a different path our feet had set;
Space stretched between us, yet you still were near,
And friendship had no shadows of regret.
At least your noble thoughts can never die,—
They live to stir and lift humanity,—
They live to sweeten life and cheer us on:
If they are with us, surely you are nigh.
Yes, in our memory, long as sense remains,
That stalwart frame shall live, that voice whose strains,
To lofty purpose pitched, struck like a fire
Into our blood, and thrilled through all our veins.
That full sonorous voice, whose high-strung key
Was tuned to justice and to liberty,—
That sounded like a charge to rouse the world
From the deep slumber of its apathy.
Nor these alone;—we shall remember too
The kind familiar tones of love we knew,
The genial converse and the storied lore,
The cultured charm that every listener drew.
The gladsome smile, the gleam of quick surprise,
That thrilled the face and lightened through the eyes;
The uplifting brow, the utterance frank and clear,
And all that sullen death to sight denies.
Vain friendship's voice, and vain the loud lament
A nation breathed as o'er your bier it bent;
Vain unto you, that as you passed away
A shadow darkened down a continent.
Rest, then, brave soldier, from the well-fought fight
Rest, genial scholar, from the dear delight
Of arts and books! Rest, steadfast, stainless friend!
For ever ours,—though lost to sense and sight.
Stern Duty's champion, at thy bier we bow!
Brave, honest, faithful to the end,—thy vow
To God and Freedom kept,—unbribed, unbought:
Rest thee,—or rise to loftier labors now.
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