In Memoriam. The Honourable Arthur O'Neil

Hush ! the drama of that long existence,
All its shifts and scenes are overpast,
The proud life that made such strong resistance
To death's summons has gone forth at last.

Still'd awhile were strivings and desires,
While the expecting nations held their breath
To vibrations of the fateful wires,
To the tolling of the bells of death.

Tell it gently by those olive gardens
Sloping sweetly to the tideless main,
Where dear love and fearful hope are wardens
By that bed of patience and of pain.

Tell it gently — break not on their grieving
Filial agony and wifely fear —
Crowns and sceptres, ruling and achieving,
Name them not amid the silence here.

Who would count the spray like silver flying,
Love the mighty wave's sonorous flow,
When the gallant man-of-war is lying
Gored upon the cruel rocks below?

Nerveless now the hand that should have taken
From his strong right hand the sword of state.
Ah, stern keeper of thy rights unshaken,
Thou hast died too early or too late!

Near a century of Europe's story
Hath been interwoven with thy name;
Thou hast watch'd the grandeur and the glory,
Passing dynasties, and blighted fame —

Seen the great Usurper's fall and rising
Who perchance look'd coldly on thy face,
Never of that young bold hand surmising
That it held the fortune of his race.

What to thee the greatness of thy nation?
What to thee the splendour of thy state?
Or thine Empire's strong consolidation,
Europe's loud applause and France's hate?

What to thee the clarion of the Kaiser
Bidding all th' Alsatian echoes wake? —
But whate'er of nobler, better, wiser,
Self-forgetting, done for duty's sake —

Whatsoe'er of mild and gentle, rather
Claiming sympathy than kingly sway,
Making all the Germans call thee " Father, "
This shall follow to the far away.

Hush! the long, long silver cord is broken —
Lay the trophies by the stately bed,
God receive him! — let not more be spoken,
For to-day a great man lieth dead.
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