Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE NOBLEST SERVICE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: If all his mourning friends
Last Line: He leads us, answering glory's highest call.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Death; Grief; Mourning; Dead, The; Sorrow; Sadness; Bereavement
IF all his mourning friends unselfishly
Might speak, high over grief, in one accord,
What voice of joy were lifted to the Lord
For having lent our need such ministry
As this man's life has ever proved to be!
Yea, even through battle-crash of gun and sword
His steadfast step still found the pathway toward
The noblest service paid Humanity
O ye to whose rich firesides he has brought
A richer light! O watcher at the door
Of the lone cabin! O kindred! Comrades! -- all!
Since universal good he dreamed and wrought,
Be brave, to pleasure him, as, on before,
He leads us, answering Glory's highest call.
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