Archive for the ‘James A. Garfield’ Tag

Death the Gate to Heaven   1 comment


Above:  Our Martyrs at Heaven’s Gate, 1881

President Abraham Lincoln greets President James A. Garfield.

Image Source = Library of Congress


Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-02234


Jno. 14, 2-3

1.  Jesus goes away to prepare a place for them.  He came from heaven in their behalf; now he returns to serve them further.  The odds are against their highest enjoyment here; hence he seeks an abode free from all hindrance.

2.  But he will come to them and help them.  The Holy Spirit did come to counsel and help them, that they may prepare for higher things.  Finally he will come to take them to himself.

3.  They are to be with him where he is.  They loved him and followed him here and he wants them to be with him there to behold his glory.  He prayed for this.  Immortal bliss awaits all his children in his gracious abode, the house of many mansions.

4.  Hence death is but the door of entrance to higher, holier things.  He arched the door with bow of hope and planted there most fragrant flowers.

Where he is is heaven to dwell with him and the good of all ages.


The Epitaph   2 comments

Above:  Charles Guiteau, Assassin of President James Abram Garfield

Image Source = Library of Congress


For more about President Garfield:


NOTE:  Charles Guiteau, who shot President Garfield in 1881, was truly nuttier than a fruit cake.  Yet Garfield actually died of well-meaning yet infection-encouraging poking and prodding by his doctors.–KRT


He is gone, he is gone!  the scourge of the nation,

The black fiend at large no longer shall roam;

He is gone, he is gone!  the child of damnation,

The murderer, blasphemer’s gone to his home.


His blood-clotted soul has found an abode

Where his and our wrongs shall be fairly redressed,

And here sleeps his dust beneath the cold sod,

In charity, stranger, disturb not his rest.


But learn from the doom of him who now lies

All mouldering beneath thy feet in the ground,

The fate of the fiendish villain who tries

By the fall of another to rise to renown.


Ambition has meted her ample reward,

And envy her recompense duly supplies,

With youth’s aspirations that he learned to discard,

A fond mother’s hope sepulchered here lies.


His insatiate thirst for fame and renown

Has been slaked from that cup so bitter, so rare,

For where’er disdain for an assassin is found,

The name of this wretch has flooded the air.


Till villainy dies he’ll not be forgotten,

But ah! bitter fame, none remember to love him,

“Assassin,” his epitaph, all nations have written

The requiem “disgrace” that the world sings above him.


But his crime is no blacker, nor more savored of good,

Tho’ a man of renown he sent to the grave,

‘Tis enough, he’s a murderer, who sheddeth man’s blood,

Be it blood of a prince or blood of a slave.


Tho’ all must condemn, yet peace to his mould,

We can not despise his ashes laid low,

But the spirit so black which it once did enfold,

That nerved him to strike the murderous blow.


Yet, when we all stand around the White Throne

And their rights and wrongs the nations all know,

If wrong has been said, or injury done,

The world will then ask thy forgiveness, Guiteau.


A Related Poem:

Garfield   2 comments

Above:  James Abram Garfield (1831-1881), President of the United States (March 4, 1881-September 19, 1881)

Image Source = Library of Congress


For more about President Garfield:


NOTE:  I have a kinder opinion of Presidents Garfield and Lincoln than did my great-grandfather.–KRT


A thousand bells with thundering throad,

In melancholy, saddened tone;

The drooping banner’s idle float,

Tell that his noble soul has flown.


‘Tis just, our tribute thus to pay,

And tokens of our love to show;

Yet how devoid of meaning they,

And vain to him in death laid low.


Come ye, the living, let us learn

From him who, tho’ so lofty, fell;

How joys are darkened as they burn,

And hope’s buds blighted as they swell.


Tho’ mighty, he was only clay,

No better than the humblest wight;

Nor wealth, nor power, nor fame could stay,

Nor check his spirit in its flight.


He by his life has told again

What few have told, yet which is true:

That virtue does sometimes obtain

The applause and honor which ’tis due.


That ’tis not always wealth that buys,

And birth that charms the hearts of men;

Nor lack of titles yet disguise

True merit from man’s piercing ken.


And by his death he, too, has told

How all things human must decay;

How feeble are the ties which hold

E’en great men’s spirits to their clay.


That downy beds are beds of pain,

That joys but born can breed a sigh;

That power is often its own bane;

And e’en a President can die.


That flattery, praise nor power can soothe

The pangs that bide the parting breath;

That e’en the world itself can’t smooth

Nor warn the stygian waves of death.


But peaceful be his long repose,

His star of glory never wane;

And glad we’ll place his name ‘mongst those

Of patriots great and patriots slain.


Yet though a little power was thine,

Garfield, I will not worship thee;

Tho’ humble I, it is not mine

To bend to clay the suppliant’s knee.*


Thy worth I gladly, freely own,

And mourn a nation’s loss in thee;

But cannot say with thee has flown

All that was and shall noble be.

*There is a poem, written, I think, by a lady, setting forth Mr. Lincoln’s merits in a very gaudy manner.  It is a very pretty piece, and had she been eulogizing our Saviour instead of a poor, frail mortal, it would be very appropriate:  but as it is, I cannot adopt the sentiment.  I detest such mean servility.–[T.


A Related Poem: