To The Memory Of Hood

A poem by James Russell Lowell

Another star 'neath Time's horizon dropped,
To gleam o'er unknown lands and seas;
Another heart that beat for freedom stopped,--
What mournful words are these!

O Love Divine, that claspest our tired earth,
And lullest it upon thy heart,
Thou knowest how much a gentle soul is worth
To teach men what thou art!

His was a spirit that to all thy poor
Was kind as slumber after pain:
Why ope so soon thy heaven-deep Quiet's door
And call him home again?

Freedom needs all her poets: it is they
Who give her aspirations wings,
And to the wiser law of music sway
Her wild imaginings.

Yet thou hast called him, nor art thou unkind,
O Love Divine, for 'tis thy will
That gracious natures leave their love behind
To work for Mercy still.

Let laurelled marbles weigh on other tombs,
Let anthems peal for other dead,
Rustling the bannered depth of minster-glooms
With their exulting spread.

His epitaph shall mock the short-lived stone,
No lichen shall its lines efface,
He needs these few and simple lines alone
To mark his resting-place:

'Here lies a Poet. Stranger, if to thee
His claim to memory be obscure,
If thou wouldst learn how truly great was he,
Go, ask it of the poor.'

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