James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

June 12

Bryant Dead!

By Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830–1886)

(Died June 12, 1878)

LO! there he lies, our Patriarch Poet, dead!

The solemn angel of eternal peace

Has waved a wand of mystery o’er his head,

Touched his strong heart, and bade his pulses cease.

Behold in marble quietude he lies!

Pallid and cold, divorced from earthly breath,

With tranquil brow, lax hands, and dreamless eyes,

Yet the closed lips would seem to smile at death.

Well may they smile; for death, to such as he,

Brings purer freedom, loftier thought and aim;

And, in grand truce with immortality,

Lifts to song’s fadeless heaven his star-like fame!