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

December 14

On the Death of Washington

By Theodore Dwight (1764–1846)

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BUT who can speak, what accents can relate,

The solemn scenes which marked the great man’s fate!

Ye ancient sages, who so loudly claim

The brightest station on the list of Fame,

At his approach with diffidence retire,

His higher worth acknowledge and admire.

When keenest anguish racked his mighty mind,

And the fond heart the joys of life resigned,

No guilt, nor terror stretched its hard control,

No doubt obscured the sunshine of the soul.

Prepared for death, his calm and steady eye,

Looked fearless upward to a peaceful sky:

While wondering angels point the airy road,

Which leads the Christian to the house of God.