Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

On The Death Of John Cassell

The True and Esteemed Friend of the Working Man

What mournful voices thrill upon my ears?
What wailing tones of sorrow vex the air?
They speak a woe that lies too deep for tears,
A woe that every son of toil will share.
The mournful voice, the sorrow and the woe
Are heard, and known, and felt o'er Europe broad;
Cassell is dead! his work is done below-
He rests upon the bosom of his God!
Friend of the working man! the heart-warm tear,
Wiped by the horny hand of honest toil,
Is shed in grateful showers upon thy bier,
By million workmen upon British soil!
Their friend and advocate-the wise and good!
Their interests ever were with him supreme-
A father working for their mental food-
Their progress upward, onward, still his theme.
No mythic figures, drooping o'er his dust,
Can symbolise his virtues and his worth;
No 'storied urn or animated bust'
Relates his labours, draws his merits forth.
A leader in the van of knowledge still,
He won his laurels on the field of mind,
In combat keen with ignorance and ill-
The trophies of his power remain behind!
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