Bush, Olivia Ward
|The Moaning -- of -- The Tide|
Dunbar is dead! O Grief, thy cloud of gloom
Hangs o'er his race! They sorely needed him,
That he should pass from them in his bright bloom
Hath sorrowed deep; and troubled eyes are dim
With tears. To hear no more the voice that thrilled;
To know his pen lies useless, undisturbed;
To know that evermore his songs are stilled,
Hath filled their hearts with mournings, yet unheard.
O Singer-Artist, thy sweet tuneful lays
Shall live, e'en though thy spirit swift hath flown
Back to its Maker; still we prize and praise
The picture that thy skillful hand has thrown
Upon Life's canvass, that so well portrays
The lot of him who close to Nature clings;
The joy, the pain, the pleasure of his days
In field and cabin, where he weeps or sings;
It must be that thy soul-inspired Art
Hath found, at last, in a diviner sphere
Its proper place, from earthly ills apart,
To make complete its rare beginning here.
The Autumn leaves, rich golden-tinted leaves,
Have fallen, and all barren lie the fields,
For, t'is the Reaping-time, when full-grown sheaves
Are gathered in, and kindly Nature yields
Her choicest gifts, while Nature's children share
The Autumn Glory, flooding vale and hill,
And thus the man, with life so full, so rare,
Ripe, in his Autumn time, sleeps calm and still.
How fearlessly, how fervently he wrought!
While from his lips fell truth like scattered grain,
Enriching all the field of human thought,
Restoring faith to human hearts again.
Now, o'er our memories the mellow glow,
Of all his love, of all his words and deeds
Shines brightly, and t'is ours to feel and know
That he who pled our cause, who knew our needs
Has left with with us the golden-tinted leaves
Of hope, such hope as made his life complete,
That we, like him may bring our Autumn sheaves,
And lay them at the Master-Reaper's feet.