Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
630. To John Greenleaf Whittier
 
On the Death of Lowell
 
By William Hayes Ward
 
 
DEAR singer of our fathers’ day,
  Who lingerest in the sunset glow,
Our grateful hearts all bid thee stay;
  Bend hitherward and do not go.
Gracious thine age, thy youth was strong,        5
  For Freedom touched thy tongue with fire:
To sing the right and fight the wrong
  Thine equal hand held bow or lyre.
      O linger, linger long,
        Singer of song.        10
 
We beg thee stay; thy comrade star
  Which later rose is earlier set;
What music and what battle-scar
  When side by side the fray ye met!
Thy trumpet and his drum and fife        15
  Gave saucy challenge to the foe
In Liberty’s heroic strife;
  We mourn for him, thou must not go!
      Yet linger, linger long,
        Singer of song.        20
 
We cannot yield thee; only thou
  Art left to us, and one beside
Whose silvered wisdom still can show
  How smiles and tears together bide.
And we would bring our boys to thee,        25
  And bid them hold in memory crowned
That they our saintliest bard did see,
  The Galahad of our table round.
      Then linger, linger long,
        Singer of song.        30
 
The night is dark; three radiant beams
  Are gone that crossed the zenith sky;
For one the water-fowl, meseems,
  For two the Elmwood herons cry.
Ye twain that early rose and still        35
  Skirt low the level west along,
Sink when ye must, to rise and fill
  The morrow’s east with light and song
      But linger, linger long,
        Singer of song.        40
 

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