The earth was flooded in the amber haze
That renders so lovely our autumn days,
The dying leaves softly fluttered down,
Bright crimson and orange and golden brown,
And the hush of autumn, solemn and still,
Brooded o'er valley, plain and hill.
Yet still from that scene with rare beauty rife
And the touching sweetness of fading life,
From glowing foliage and sun bright ray,
My gaze soon mournfully turned away
To rest, instead, on a new made grave,
Enshrouding a heart true, loyal and brave.
At rest for aye! Cold and pulseless now
That high throbbing breast and calm, earnest brow;
Laid down forever the quick, gifted pen
That toiled but for God and his fellow men;
Silent that voice, free from hatred or ruth,
Yet e'er boldly raised in the cause of truth.
For the prize of our faith grateful he proved,
Breaking from ties and from scenes once loved,
From rank and fortune, and the lures of pride,
That tempt the gifted on every side,
To devote his genius - his pen of fire -
To aims more holy and themes far higher.
He was true to the land he had made his home,
And true to the grand old faith of Rome,
At whose feet he laid powers rarer than gold,
As knights laid their lances and shields of old, -
That Church on whose loving maternal breast
He peacefully sank to eternal rest.
Oh! no tears for him who passed away
Ere frame or spirit knew touch of decay,
Ere time had deadened one feeling warm,
Or his genius robbed of one single charm.
As he was when death struck, his image shall dwell
In the countless hearts that loved him so well.