Brothers and men! One moment stay
Beside your latest patriarch’s grave,
While God’s just vengeance yet delay–
While God’s blest mercy yet can save.
Will you compel my tongue to say,
That underneath this nameless sod
Your hands, with mine, have laid to-day
The last on earth who walked with God?
Shall his pale corpse, whose hoary hair
Are just surrendered to decay,
Dissolve the chain which bound our years
To hundred ages passed away?
Shall six-score years of warnings dread
Die like a whisper on the wind?
Shall the dark doom above your head,
Its blinded victims darker find?
Shall storms from heaven without the world,
Find wilder storms from hell, within?
Shall long stored–late come wrath be hurled;
Or–will you–can you turn from sin?
Have patience if too plain I speak,
For time, my sons, is hastening by;
Forgive me if my accents break;
Shall I be saved and Nature die?
Forgive that pause:–One look to Heaven
Too plainly tells me He is gone,
Who, long, with me in vain had striven
For earth, beneath its Maker’s throne.
He is gone!–My Father–full of days–
From life which left no joy for him;
Born in creation’s earliest blaze;
Dying–himself, its latest beam.
But he gone! And, oh, behold,
Shewn in his death, God’s latest sign!
Than which more plainly never told
An angel’s presence, his design.
By it, the evening beams withdrawn
Before a starless night descend;
By it, the last blest spirit born
From this beginning of an end!
By all the strife of civil war
That beams within yon fated town;
By all the hearts worst passions there,
That call so loud for vengeance down;
By that vast wall of cloudy gloom,
Piled round heaven’s boding firmament;
By all its presages of doom,
Children of men–Repent! Repent!