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Oh Why Should The Spirit Of Mortal Be Proud?

Oh Why Should The Spirit Of Mortal Be Proud? image
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[Tbe following poem was a pnrtlcubir favorIte poem wltli Mr, Lincoln, and wlilch he was accuHtomed occaalonally to repeat. Mr. F. B. C'urppnler, tbe artlst, writes that whlle enÏagcd in palntlng nis picture at the White louse, he was alone ooe evenlnK wlth the President In hls room, when he au ld : "Tliere Is a poem whlcti was flrst sbown to me when young man by a frlend, and whlcti I afterward uw and cut from a newspaper aad learned by lieart. I would," he coutlnned, "glve a f reat deal to know who wrote It, bat have never been abte to ascertaln." He then repeated the poem, and on a subsenuent occasion Mr. Carpenter wrote ltdown Iroin Mr. Llncoln's own lip. The poem waa publlsbed more than thirty yeara ago, was then statcd to be of Jewiah orlgln, and we thlnk was credlted to "Songs of Israel."] Oh, whyshould the spirit of mortal beproud? I.lke a swlft-fleetlng meteor, a fast-flylng cloud, A flash of the lightnlng, a break of the wave. Man passes from llfe to hls rest In the grave. The leaves of the oak and the wlllow shall fade, Be cattered around and together be lald ; And the young and the old, and tbe low and the high, Shall moulder to dust and together shall lle. The infant a mother attended and loved, The mother tbat lnfant's affectlon who proved ; The husband tbat mother anl lnfant who blessed, Each, alt ure away to thelr dwelllngs of rest. The mald on whose cheek, on whose brow, In wbose eye Rhone beauty and pleasnre- her trlumphs are by ; And tbe meraory of tnose who loved her and pralaed. Are alike from the mluds of the living erased. The hand of the klng that a sceptre hatli borne, The brow of the prlest that the mitre hath worn ; The eye of tbe sage and the beart of the brave. Are bidden and Iosttn the depth of the grave. The peasant, whose lot was to sow and to reap; The berdsman, who cllmbed wlth hls goats up thesteep; The beggar wbo wandered In search of hls bread. Have faded away Uke thegrassthatwetread. The salnt who enjoyed the cominunton of heaven, The slnner who dared to remain unforglven, The wlse and the foollsh, the gullty and lust, Have quletly mlngled thelr boncs In the dust. So the multltade goes, llke the flowere or the weed That wlthers away to let othero sueceed ; 80 the comes, even those we behold. To repeat every tale thnt has often been told. Por we are the same our fathers have been. We see the sanie stghts our fathers have soen ; We drink the same stream and view the sarne snn, And run tbe same course our fathers liare run. The thongbU we are thinking our fathers would thlnk; From tbe death we are shrlnklng our fathers would shrlnk, Tothe lile we are cllnglngonr fathers would cllng; Bat lt speeds from us all llke a blrd on the wlng. They lored, but the story we cannot unfold ; They scorned, but the beart of the haughty Is colil ; Tbey grleved.but nowall fromtbclrslumbers shall come; They Joyed, but the volee of thelr gladness Is dumb. They dled, aye, tbey dled; and wethings that are now, Who walk on the turf that Hes over their brow, Who make In thelr dwelllngs a translent o bode, Meet the tilinga that they met on thelr pllgrlmage road. Vi'ii, hope and despondency, "pleasure and pain, We minóle together In sunshlne and rain ; And the smlles and the tears, the song and the dlrge stlll follow each other llke surge upon surge. Tls the wlnk of an eye, 'IU the draught 'of a breath ; From the blossom of heal th to the paleness of death ; From thegllded saloon to the bier and the ¦brood: Oh, why Hhould thesplrltof mortal beproud?


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News