Littell's Living Age/Volume 151/Issue 1949/England to America

Originally published in Punch.

JAMES ABRAM GARFIELD.

BORN, NOVEMBER 19, 1831.

DIED, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, SEPTEMBER 19, 1881.

Silence were best, if hand in hand,
     Like friends, sea-sundered peoples met;
But words must wing from land to land
     The utterance of the heart's regret,
Though harsh on ears that Sorrow thralls
E'en Sympathy's low accent falls.'

Salt leagues that part us check no whit
     What knows not bounds of time or space,
The homestead feeling that must knit
     World-scattered kin in speech and race.
None like ourselves may well bemoan
Columbia's sorrow; 'tis our own.

A sorrow of the nobler sort,
     Which love and pride make pure and fair;
A grief that is not misery's sport,
     A pain that bows not to despair;
Beginning not in courtly woe,
To end in pageantry and show.

The great republic's foremost son,
     Struck foully, falls; but they who mourn
Brave life cut short, good work half done,
     Yet trust that from beyond death's bourne
That blameless memory's gifts may be
Peace, concord, civic purity.

Scarce known of us till struck for death,
     He stirred us by his valiant fight
With mortal pain. With bated breath,
     We waited tidings morn and night.
The hope that's nursed by strong desire,
Though shaken often, will not tire.

And now our sables type, in truth,
     A more than ceremonial pain.
We send, court, cottage, age, and youth,
     From open hearts, across the main,
Our sympathy — it never swerved —
To wife he loved, to land he served!