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

July 3

To the Spirit of Abraham Lincoln

By Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909)

  • Reunion at Gettysburg twenty-five years after the battle.

  • SHADE of our greatest, O look down today!

    Here the long, dread midsummer battle roared,

    And brother in brother plunged the accursed sword;—

    Here foe meets foe once more in proud array

    Yet not as once to harry and to slay

    But to strike hands, and with sublime accord

    Weep tears heroic for the souls that soared

    Quick from earth’s carnage to the starry way.

    Each fought for what he deemed the people’s good,

    And proved his bravery by his offered life,

    And sealed his honor with his outpoured blood;

    But the Eternal did direct the strife,

    And on this sacred field one patriot host

    Now calls thee father,—dear, majestic ghost!