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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Weldon, Lawrence. 'Lawrence Weldon (drafts for speech)' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon088.html


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-- 89 --

of his nomination sitting in the posture described he quoted aloud and at length the poem entitled Mortality — When he had finished he was questioned as to the authorship and where it could be found — He has forgotten when he learned it but not the Author [2] — and said that to him it sounded as much like true poetry as any thing he had ever heard — he was particlaly pleased with the last two line verseses — which are as follows

Yea! hope and despondence. Pleasure and pain —
Are mingled together like sunshine and rain —
The smile and the tear the song and the dirge.
Still follow each other like Surge upon Surge. —

Tis the the wink of an eye tis the draught of a breath.
From the blossom of youth to the paleness of death —
From the gilded Saloon, the bier and the Shroud
Oh why should the spirit of mortal be proud —

What a just resemblance the above bears to his fortune —

Mr Lincoln at the time of his was encircled by a halo of glory. such as before never graced the brow of mortal man — he had driven treason from its capital slept in the palace of its once proud defiant but now vanquished leader saved his country and its accum- glories of three quarters of a century from destruction rode not with the haughty and imperious brow of an ancient conqueror but with the placid complacency of a pure patriot through the streets of the political Babylon of modern times — he had ridden over battle fields immortal in history when in power at least he was the leader. having assured the misguided citizens of the South that he meant them no harm — beyond a determination to maintain the government — he return'd buoyant with hope to the Executive Mansion where for four long years — he had been held as it were a prisoner. Weary with the storms of State, he goes to seek the relaxation of amusement at the theatre Sees the gay crowd as he passes in is cheered and graciously smiled upon by fair women and brave men. beholds the gorgeous paraphernalia of the stage the brilliantly lighted Scene — the arched ceiling with its grotesque and inimitable figuring to heighten the effect and make the occasion one of unalloyed pleasure the crowd heart beat in unison with his over a redeemed and ransomed land — A pause in the play — A faint pistol shot is heard No one knows it significance save the hellish few who are in the plot. A wild shriek such as murder rings from the heart of woman is follows the proud form of Mr Lincoln has sunk in death, The Scene is Charged with a wild confusion such as no poet can describe or painter deleneate. Well might he have said and oft repeated

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; Weldon, Lawrence. 'Lawrence Weldon (drafts for speech)' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon088.html
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