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

October 7

Oliver Wendell Holmes

By William Hamilton Hayne (1856–1929)

(Died October 7, 1894)

ASLEEP at last! For fourscore years

He toiled among his fellow men,

And reaped in Thought’s imperial fields

A golden harvest of the pen.

Asleep at last! yet strangely near!

On many a magic page we find,

In deathless sheaves of prose or verse,

The garnered fruitage of his mind.

Asleep at last! His happy muse

Awoke all measures, brave and bright,

And seemed to love’s enamored eyes

Vibrating with the morning light.

Asleep at last! In nobler strains,

Possessed of more than rhythmic art,

We felt the master’s finger touch

The secret harpstring of the heart.

Asleep at last! and yet awake!

For he has reached the far off goal,

And passed the stormy reefs of Death

To shining waters of the Soul.