Elegy on Lincoln.
Lincoln is gone — who ruled the Western Land
From the Pacific to the Atlantic’s brim —
And cold and nerveless lies the mighty hand
That struck the fetters from the negro’s limb.
Lincoln is gone — and now for ever still
The gentle, manly, and the feeling heart
And quench’d in might the endless will
That never flinch’d from Duty’s sternest part.
The Negro mourns for him who wont to stand
The foremost Champion in fair freedom’s train;
Who took the dusky Ethiope by the hand
And from his forehead wiped the shameful stain.
The gloomy Indian hears the tale with grief
Of his Protector’s dark untimely end —
And sternly sorrows for the Pale-face Chief,
The red man’s brother and his constant friend.
Now anarchy and rest overwhelm
In mid-career our lordly ship of state
For Lincoln’s hand no longer holds the helm
To guide her passage through the fearful strait.
His foresight deep, his judgment keen and cool,
Would hush Sedition’s voice and Discord’s jar —
Oh! For another year of Lincoln’s rule
To blot the footprints of intestine war.
But though we view the blank where late he stood
Discharging fearlessly his country’s trust,
His name shall number with the great and good
When his proud tomb has moulder’d in the dust.
When dove-eyed peace shall have eternal birth,
And spread Millennial bliss along our shore
And all the nations of the smiling earth
Shall learn the horrid art of war no more.
Yes! we may search from Boston’s busy street
To far Nebraska’s wide untrodden plain
But no such man as Lincoln may we meet,
Nor shall his country see his like again.
K. B. [Kate Baker] (editor), The Poems of Joseph Furphy, Melbourne: Lothian Book Publishing Co., 1916, page 55
Ethiope = Ethiopian; (archaic) a Black person, Negro
fetter = a chain, manacle, or shackle placed around a prisoner’s ankle; something which confines or restrains; to put fetters upon; to confine, restrain, or restrict
jar = a harsh, grating, discordant, or unpleasant sound; a jarring noise
wont = custom, habit, practice; accustomed; apt, inclined