Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MARTYR; INDICATIVE OF PASSION OF PEOPLES APRIL 15, 1865, by HERMAN MELVILLE



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THE MARTYR; INDICATIVE OF PASSION OF PEOPLES APRIL 15, 1865, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Good friday was the day
Last Line: When they bare the iron hand.
Subject(s): Assassination; Freedom; Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865); Presidents, United States; Liberty


Good Friday was the day
Of the prodigy and crime,
When they killed him in his pity,
When they killed him in his prime
Of clemency and calm --
When with yearning he was filled
To redeem the evil-willed,
And, though conqueror, be kind;
But they killed him in his kindness,
In their madness and their blindness,
And they killed him from behind.

There is sobbing of the strong,
And a pall upon the land;
But the People in their weeping
Bare the iron hand:
Beware the People weeping
When they bare the iron hand.

He lieth in his blood --
The father in his face;
They have killed him, the Forgiver --
The Avenger takes his place,
The Avenger wisely stern,
Who in righteousness shall do
What the heavens call him to,
And the parricides remand;
For they killed him in his kindness,
In their madness and their blindness,
And his blood is on their hand.

There is sobbing of the strong,
And a pall upon the land;
But the People in their weeping
Bare the iron hand:
Beware the People weeping
When they bare the iron hand.





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