Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Elegiac Verses On The Death Of Lord Palmerston

A loftier muse, in higher strains, may sing
A grander requiem o'er the stateman's bier:
Yet genius, rank, and grandeur may not bring
A holier tribute, or a warmer tear.
'Familiar in our mouths as household words,'
His name, his talent, and his worth. Enshrined
In Britain's heart, when memory stirs its chords,
She boasts the triumphs of his master mind.
The world of politics abroad he scanned
With eagle glance, that would not quail or pause;
Woe to the despot! whose unholy hand
Had touched the ark of British rights and laws.
His was no garment rolled in needless blood-
His voice, no shouting warrior's battle cry;
A Nestor at the council board he stood,
His counsels ever sage, and purpose high.
The demon steed of dark despotic power
He curbed and reined with might and matchless skill;
When o'er our isle the tempest seemed to lower,
The brooding clouds were scattered at his will.
'We may not look upon his like again.'
Full oft he passed, avoiding shoal and strand,
O'er diplomacy's deep and treacherous main,
And brought the good ship Britain safe to land.
Alas! the hand that held the helm is cold-
The trusted pilot treads the deck no more,
Whose skilful tactics-measures prompt and bold-
Kept far the dangers of a leeward shore.
His place is vacant at the council board,
And empty in the senatorial hall;
But in the nation's heart a grateful chord
Still vibrates strong for him, revered of all.
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