Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AT THE PRESIDENT'S GRAVE, by RICHARD WATSON GILDER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AT THE PRESIDENT'S GRAVE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: All summer long the people knelt
Last Line: Of earth's eternal heritage.
Subject(s): Assassination; Garfield, James Abram (1831-1881)

ALL summer long the people knelt
And listened at the sick man's door:
Each pang which that pale sufferer felt
Throbbed through the land from shore to shore;

And as the all-dreaded hour drew nigh,
What breathless watching, night and day!
What tears, what prayers! Great God on high,
Have we forgotten how to pray!

O broken-hearted, widowed one,
Forgive us if we press too near!
Dead is our husband, father, son, --
For we are all one household here.

And not alone here by the sea,
And not in his own land alone,
Are tears of anguish shed with thee --
In this one loss the world is one.


A man not perfect, but of heart
So high, of such heroic rage,
That even his hopes became a part
Of earth's eternal heritage.

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