Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England

Contents:

Show Summary
London Punch, May 6, 1865. World History

440.

A Recantation, Punch (May 6, 1865)

You lay a wreath on murdered Lincoln’s bier, You, who with mocking pencil wont to trace, Broad for the self-complacent British sneer, His length of shambling limb, his furrowed face,

His gaunt, gnarled hands, his unkempt, bristling hair, His garb uncouth, his bearing ill at ease, His lack of all we prize as debonair, Of power or will to shine, of art to please.

You whose smart pen backed up the pencil’s laugh, Judging each step, as though the way were plain: Reckless, so it could point its paragraph, Of chief’s perplexity or people’s pain.

Beside this corpse, that bears for winding sheet The Stars and Stripes he lived to rear anew, Between the mourners at his head and feet, Say, scurril jester, is there room for you?

Yes, he had lived to shame me from my sneer, To lame my pencil and confute my pen — To make me own this hind of princes peer, This rail splitter a true-born king of men.

My shallow judgment I had learnt to rue, Noting how to occasion’s height he rose, How his quaint wit made home truth seem more true, How, iron like, his temper grew by blows.

How humble yet how hopeful he could be: How in good fortune and in ill the same: Nor bitter in success, nor boastful he, Thirsty for gold, nor feverish for fame.

He went about his work — such work as few Ever had laid on head and heart and hand — As one who knows, where there’s a task to do, Man’s honest will must heaven’s good grace command.

. . . . . . . . .

The uncleared forest, the unbroken soil, The iron-bark that turns the lumberer’s axe, The rapid that o’erbears the boatman’s toil, The prairie, hiding the mazed wanderer’s tracks,

The ambushed Indian, and the prowling bear — Such were the needs that helped his youth to train: Rough culture — but such trees large fruit may bear If but their stocks be of right girth and grain.

So he grew up, a destined work to do, And lived to do it: four long-suffering years! Ill fate, ill feeling, ill report lived through, And then he heard the hisses change to cheers,

The taunts to tribute, the abuse to praise, And took both with the same unwavering mood: Till, as he came on light, from darkling days, And seemed to touch the goal from where he stood,

A felon hand, between the goal and him, Reached from behind his back, a trigger prest — And those perplexed and patient eyes were dim, Those gaunt, long-labouring limbs were laid to rest!

Contents:

Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options


Title: Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: "A Recantation, Punch (May 6, 1865)," Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, ed. Edward Potts Cheyney (1861-1947) (Boston: Ginn, 1935, 1922), 733–735. Original Sources, accessed September 22, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCHDDIM4TZ5XYHS.

MLA: . "A Recantation, Punch (May 6, 1865)." Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, edited by Edward Potts Cheyney (1861-1947), Boston, Ginn, 1935, 1922, pp. 733–735. Original Sources. 22 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCHDDIM4TZ5XYHS.

Harvard: , 'A Recantation, Punch (May 6, 1865)' in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England. cited in 1922, Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, ed. , Ginn, 1935, Boston, pp.733–735. Original Sources, retrieved 22 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCHDDIM4TZ5XYHS.