I - H. B. by William Winter

The dirge is sung, the ritual said, No more the brooding organ weeps, And, cool and green, the turf is spread On that lone grave where BROMLEY sleeps. Gone—in his ripe, meridian hour! Gone—when the wave was at its crest! And wayward Humor’s perfect flower Is turned to darkness and to rest. No more those honest eyes will beam With torrid light of proud desire; No more those fluent lips will teem With Wit’s gay quip or Passion’s fire. Forever gone! And with him fade The dreams that Youth and Friendship know— The frolic and the glee that made The golden time of Long Ago. The golden time! Ah, many a face,— And his the merriest of them all,— That made this world so sweet a place, Is cold and still, beneath the pall. His was the heart that over-much In human goodness puts its trust, And his the keen, satiric touch That shrivels falsehood into dust. His love was like the liberal air,— Embracing all, to cheer and bless; And every grief that mortals share Found pity in his tenderness. His subtle vision deeply saw, Through piteous webs of human fate, The motion of the sovereign law, On which all tides of being wait. No sad recluse, no lettered drone, His mirthful spirit, blithely poured, In many a crescent frolic shone,— The light of many a festal board. No pompous pedant, did he feign, With dull conceit of learning’s store; But not for him were writ in vain The statesman’s craft, the scholar’s lore. Fierce for the right, he bore his part In strife with many a valiant foe; But Laughter winged his polished dart, And Kindness tempered every blow. No selfish purpose marked his way; Still for the common good he wrought, And still enriched the passing day With sheen of wit and sheaves of thought. Shrine him, New-England, in thy breast! With wild-flowers grace his hallowed bed, And guard with love his laurelled rest, Forever with thy holiest dead! For not in all the teeming years Of thy long glory hast thou known A being framed of smiles and tears, Humor and force, so like thine own! And never did thy asters gleam, Or through thy pines the night-wind roll, To soothe, in death’s transcendent dream, A sweeter or a nobler soul!

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