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

October 24


By Epes Sargent (1813–1880)

  • Death of Daniel Webster, October 24, 1854.

  • NIGHT of the Tomb! He has entered thy portal;

    Silence of Death! He is wrapped in thy shade;

    All of the gifted and great that was mortal,

    In the earth where the ocean-mist weepeth, is laid.

    Lips, whence thy voice that held Senates proceeded,

    Form, lending argument aspect august,

    Brow, like the arch that a nation’s weight needed,

    Eyes, wells unfathomed of thought—all are dust.

    Night of the Tomb! Through thy darkness is shining

    A light, since the Star in the East never dim;

    No joy’s exultation, no sorrow’s repining

    Could hide it in life or life’s ending from him.

    Silence of Death! There were voices from heaven,

    That pierced the quick ear of Faith through the gloom;

    The rod and the staff that he asked for were given,

    And he followed the Saviour’s own track to the tomb.

    Beyond it, above, in an atmosphere finer,

    Lo, infinite ranges of being to fill!

    In that land of the spirit, that region diviner,

    He liveth, he loveth, he laboureth still.