From his youth up a martyr on the rack
Of unearned suffering that most wills had tamed,
And turned a nature less heroic back
From strenuous effort, pitied and unblamed.
But, quenching sense in spirit, he so strove,
That early manhood found him early wise,
A sage in whom, as pain o'ercame not love,
Strong soul weak body bore on high emprize.
Till on the judgment-seat, as on the way
That led up to its honors, he was seen,
Bearing the heat and burden of his day,
Of soul unruffled, patient, and serene;
With a sweet sadness putting pain aside,
To bend his ripened judgment to the cause,
And turn the clear light of his mind to guide
His brethren through our labyrinthine laws.
When men, in after times, would have held up
The glass of all that a great judge should be,
The face of Mellish, with his bitter cup
Beside him, let the Bar of England see!