Grand Haven Daily Tribune October 24, 1900
upon the death of
The twenty fifth President of the United States of America.
BY DAVID FLETCHER HUNTON.
We bow our heads today in tears,
And mourn a character sublime;
A man, who’s been for many years
One of the noblest of our times.
And he has climbed from low estate
Unto position high and grand;
And has received a later date
The peerless honors of the land!
In every sphere where he has moved,
He’s been a gentle manly man;
Respected, reverenced and beloved―
Our Nation’s great American!
A glory gilds his stainless life!
Memories sweet, hallow his name!
And far above the world’s wild strife!
Stands his proud pedestal of fame!
Words to express the Nation’s grief,
My humble muse has scarcely found;
Nothing can give our hearts relief
When plagued in sorrow so profound.
In life, and in the hour of death,
He showed his people how to live;
And when the angels wooed his breath,
Like Christ, he taught us to forgive!
What he has said, and all he’s done,
Will be remembered for all time;
With Lincoln, Grant and Washington,
His name in history will shine.
No cleaner man was ever known—
None more moral and upright;
The Nation’s heart has been the throne
Where he has reigned and ruled us right.
He grew with the advancing years,
And loved his country for its past;
For the oppressed, he plead with tears,
And trusted God unto the last.
He was devoted to his wife,
And loved her with a love sublime;
He was through all his married life,
The tenderest lover of his time.
These qualities of mind and heart,
Have won for him the world’s esteem;
His love of children, flowers and art,
Went with him down to death’s cold stream.
May god sustain his widow now,
And keep her in this hour of pain;
May calmness crown her lovely brow,
And cheering memories remain.
O may the “Comforter” be sent,
To solace and assuage her grief;
May that which cheered the President,
Give this poor woman prompt relief.
O did McKinley’s dying eyes
Read the true meaning of his death?
Was it unveiled beneath the skies
Before he parted with his breath?
Was there unfolded to his gaze
A vision beautiful and grand?
Something about God’s mystic ways,
That we may not now understand?
“IT IS GOD’S WAY. HIS WILL BE DONE”―
Was he predicted in that hour
Some great epoch to be begun?
Or some progressive stride in power?
When nearing to the other shore,
Where Eden’s glories he could see;
He summoned up his strength once more
And said, “NEARER, MY GOD, TO THEE”
Then with a resignation grand,
He whispered to that kneeling one,
Whose tears were raining on his hand,
“IT IS GOD’S WAY. HIS WILL BE DONE.”
And so he gently nestles down,
Nearer, and nearer to his God;
The “Cross” had raised him to a Crown,
While friends were weeping on the sod.
Thus did our beloved McKinley die,
While angels beckoned him away;
And went without a tear or sigh,
Into the light of endless day!
Thus has his loving soul passed on,
Into that world divinely fair;
To met and greet at heaven’s dawn,
The loved ones waiting for him there!
Somewhere, beyond the bounds of time―
Someday, within a better land―
Sometime, we’ll know of truths sublime,
That now we scarcely understand.
Grand Haven, Mich.,
September 19, 1901
Microfilm Scan: Memorial Poem, William McKinley