EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN
(Read at His Funeral, January 21, 1908)
Oh, quick to feel the lightest touch
Of beauty or of truth,
Rich in the thoughtfulness of age,
The hopefulness of youth,
The courage of the gentle heart,
The wisdom of the pure,
The strength of finely tempered souls
To labour and endure!
The blue of springtime in your eyes
Was never quenched by pain;
And winter brought your head the crown
Of snow without a stain.
The poet’s mind, the prince’s heart,
You kept until the end,
Nor ever faltered in your work,
Nor ever failed a friend.
You followed, through the quest of life,
The light that shines above
The tumult and the toil of men,
And shows us what to love.
Right loyal to the best you knew,
Reality or dream,
You ran the race, you fought the fight,
A follower of the Gleam.
We lay upon your folded hands
The wreath of asphodel;
We speak above your peaceful face
The tender word Farewell!
For well you fare, in God’s good care,
Somewhere within the blue,
And know, to-day, your dearest dreams
Are true,—and true,—and true!
TO JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY
ON HIS “BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN”
Yours is a garden of old-fashioned flowers;
Joyous children delight to play there;
Weary men find rest in its bowers,
Watching the lingering light of day there.
Old-time tunes and young love-laughter
Ripple and run among the roses;
Memory’s echoes, murmuring after,
Fill the dusk when the long day closes.
Simple songs with a cadence olden—
These you learned in the Forest of Arden:
Friendly flowers with hearts all golden—
These you borrowed from Eden’s garden.
This is the reason why all men love you;
Truth to life is the finest art:
Other poets may soar above you—
You keep close to the human heart.
RICHARD WATSON GILDER
Soul of a soldier in a poet’s frame,
Heart of a hero in a body frail;
Thine was the courage clear that did not quail
Before the giant champions of shame
Who wrought dishonour to the city’s name;
And thine the vision of the Holy Grail
Of Love, revealed through Music’s lucid veil,
Filling thy life with heavenly song and flame.
Pure was the light that lit thy glowing
And strong the faith that held thy simple creed.
Ah, poet, patriot, friend, to serve our need
Thou leavest two great gifts that will not die:
Above the city’s noise, thy lyric cry,—
Amid the city’s strife, thy noble deed.