The Death of Lincoln


Alonzo Chappel (1868)

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The Death of Lincoln

Oh, slow to smite and swift to spare,

Gentle and merciful and just!

Who, in the fear of God, didst bear

The sword of power, a nation’s trust!

In sorrow by thy bier we stand,

Amid the awe that hushes all,

And speak the anguish of a land

That shook with horror at thy fall.

Thy task is done; the bond are free:

We bear thee to an honored grave,

Whose proudest monument shall be

The broken fetters of the slave.

Pure was thy life; its bloody close

Hath placed thee with the sons of light,

Among the noble host of those

Who perished in the cause of Right.