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

September 7

Sidney Lanier

By William Hamilton Hayne (1856–1929)

(Died September 7, 1882)

LIFE’S fragile bonds united

By fine-spun webs of breath,

Scarce quivered ’neath the mystic stroke—

The unsheathed sword of Death!

O poet, preen thy pinions!

Soar through Faith’s radiant pass;

The mists of pain fade from thy soul,

As frost-films from a glass.

Thy worn, white body slumbers,

Dreamless in Death’s dark keep:—

The drawbridge crossed, thy spirit feels

No lethargy of sleep….

O Music, mother of soft sounds,

Let not thy tongue be mute!

For he, through silver lips, evoked

The language of the flute.

And Nature, though her voice is dumb,

Through dew-draped blades of corn,

Shall shed, ’mid Southern fields of grain,

Memorial tears at morn.