Frances Ellen Wat Harper

24 September 1825 – 22 February 1911 / Baltimore, Maryland

Henry Clay

Wail, winds of summer, as ye sweep
The arching skies;
O, let your echoes swell with deep,
Woe-piercing cries!

Old ocean, with a heavy surge,
Cold, black and drear,
Roll thou the solemn note of dirge
On Europe's ear!

Sweet stars, that calmly, purely bright,
Look down below,
O, pity with your eyes of light
A Nation's woe!

Thou source of day, that rollest on
Though tempests frown,
Thou mind'st us of another sun
That has gone down!

Gone down,--no more may mortal eye
Its face behold!
Gone down,--yet leaving on the sky
A tinge of gold!

Ah, yes! Columbia, pause to hear
The note of dread;
'Twill smite like iron on the ear;--
Our Clay is dead!

Our Clay; the patriot, statesman, sage,
The Nation's pride,
With giant minds of every age

That form of manliness and strength
In Senate hall,
Is lying at a fearful length
Beneath the pall!

That voice of eloquence no more
Suspends the breath;
Its matchless power to charm is o'er--
'Tis hushed in death!

Thrice noble spirit! can we bow,
And kiss the rod?
With resignation yield thee now
Back to thy God?

And where, where shall we turn to find
Now thou 'rt at rest,
A soul so lofty, just and kind,
As warmed thy breast?

We bear thee, with a flood of tears,
Unto thy tomb;
There thou must sleep till rolling years
Have met their doom!

But thy bright fame and memory
Shall send a chime
From circling ages down to the
Remotest time!

O, may thy mantle fall on some
Of this our day,
And shed upon the years to come
A happy ray!
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