Memories of President Lincoln

Memories of President Lincoln



When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd,
And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the
I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.



O powerful western fallen star!
O shades of night — O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear'd — O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless — O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul.



In the dooryard fronting an old farm-house near the white-wash'd
Stands the lilac-bush tall-growing with heart-shaped leaves
     of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom rising delicate, with the perfume
     strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle — and from this bush in the
With delicate-color'd blossoms and heart-shaped leaves of
     rich green,
A spring with its flower I break.



In the swamp in secluded recesses,
A shy and hidden bird is warbling a song.

Solitary the thrush,
The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements,
Sings by himself a song.

Song of the bleeding throat,
Death's outlet song of life, (for well dear brother I know,
If thou wast not granted to sing thou would'st surely die.)



Over the breast of the spring, the land, amid cities,
Amid lanes and through old woods, where lately the violets
     peep'd from the ground, spotting the gray debris,
Amid the grass in the fields each side of the lanes, passing the
     endless grass,
Passing the yellow-spear'd wheat, every grain from its shroud
     in the dark-brown fields uprisen,
Passing the apple-tree blows of white and pink in the
Carrying a corpse to where it shall rest in the grave,
Night and day journeys a coffin.



Coffin that passes through lanes and streets,
Through day and night with the great cloud darkening the
With the pomp of the inloop'd flags with the cities draped in
With the show of the States themselves as of crape-veil'd
     women standing,
With processions long and winding and the flambeaus of the
With the countless torches lit, with the silent sea of faces and
     the unbared heads,
With the waiting depot, the arriving coffin, and the sombre
With dirges through the night, with the thousand voices
     rising strong and solemn,
With all the mournful voices of the dirges pour'd around the
The dim-lit churches and the shuddering organs — where
     amid these you journey,
With the tolling tolling bells' perpetual clang,
Here, coffin that slowly passes,
I give you my sprig of lilac.



  By PanEris using Melati.

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