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Our Autocrat.

Read at the breakfast given in honor of Dr. Holmes by the publishers of the Atlantic Monthly, December 3, 1879.

His laurels fresh from song and lay,
     Romance, art, science, rich in all,
And young of heart, how dare we say
     We keep his seventieth festival?

No sense is here of loss or lack;
     Before his sweetness and his light
The dial holds its shadow back,
     The charmed hours delay their flight.

His still the keen analysis
     Of men and moods, electric wit,
Free play of mirth, and tenderness
     To heal the slightest wound from it.

And his the pathos touching all
     Life's sins and sorrows and regrets,
Its hopes and fears, its final call
     And rest beneath the violets.

His sparkling surface scarce betrays
     The thoughtful tide beneath it rolled,
The wisdom of the latter days,
     And tender memories of the old.

What shapes and fancies, grave or gay,
     Before us at his bidding come!
The Treadmill tramp, the One-Horse Shay,
     The dumb despair of Elsie's doom!

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Shay (1)
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1)
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