Samuel J. Tilden

A poem by John Greenleaf Whittier

Greystone, Aug. 4, 1886.


Once more, O all-adjusting Death!
The nation's Pantheon opens wide;
Once more a common sorrow saith
A strong, wise man has died.

Faults doubtless had he. Had we not
Our own, to question and asperse
The worth we doubted or forgot
Until beside his hearse?

Ambitious, cautious, yet the man
To strike down fraud with resolute hand;
A patriot, if a partisan,
He loved his native land.

So let the mourning bells be rung,
The banner droop its folds half way,
And while the public pen and tongue
Their fitting tribute pay,

Shall we not vow above his bier
To set our feet on party lies,
And wound no more a living ear
With words that Death denies

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