Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LINCOLN, by GEORGE HENRY BOKER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

LINCOLN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I knew the man. I see him, as he stands
Last Line: Lord of himself, an inborn gentleman!
Subject(s): Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865); Presidents, United States

I KNEW the man. I see him as he stands
With gifts of mercy in his outstretched hands;
A kindly light within his gentle eyes,
Sad as the toil in which his heart grew wise;
His lips half-parted with the constant smile
That kindled truth, but foiled the deepest guile;
His head bent forward, and his willing ear
Divinely patient right and wrong to hear:
Great in his goodness, humble in his state,
Firm in his purpose, yet not passionate,
He led his people with a tender hand,
And won by love a sway beyond command;
Summoned by lot to mitigate a time
Frenzied by rage, unscrupulous with crime,
He bore his mission with so meek a heart
That Heaven itself took up his people's part,
And when he faltered, helped him ere he fell,
Eking his efforts out by miracle.
No king this man, by grace of God's intent;
No, something better, freeman — President!
A nature, modeled on a higher plan,
Lord of himself, an inborn gentleman!

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