Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight

Vachel Lindsay
(In Springfield, Illinois)
 
It is portentous, and a thing of state   
That here at midnight, in our little town   
A mourning figure walks, and will not rest,   
Near the old court-house pacing up and down,   
   
Or by his homestead, or in shadowed yards
He lingers where his children used to play,   
Or through the market, on the well-worn stones   
He stalks until the dawn-stars burn away.   
   
A bronzed, lank man! His suit of ancient black,   
A famous high top-hat and plain worn shawl
Make him the quaint great figure that men love,   
The prairie-lawyer, master of us all.   
   
He cannot sleep upon his hillside now.   
He is among us:—as in times before!   
And we who toss and lie awake for long,
Breathe deep, and start, to see him pass the door.   
   
His head is bowed. He thinks of men and kings.   
Yea, when the sick world cries, how can he sleep?   
Too many peasants fight, they know not why;   
Too many homesteads in black terror weep.
   
The sins of all the war-lords burn his heart.   
He sees the dreadnaughts scouring every main.   
He carries on his shawl-wrapped shoulders now   
The bitterness, the folly and the pain.   
   
He cannot rest until a spirit-dawn
Shall come;—the shining hope of Europe free:   
A league of sober folk, the Workers' Earth,   
Bringing long peace to Cornland, Alp and Sea.   
   
It breaks his heart that things must murder still,   
That all his hours of travail here for men
Seem yet in vain. And who will bring white peace   
That he may sleep upon his hill again?

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Vachel Lindsay

by this poet

poem
Friends, I will not cease hoping though you weep. 
Such things I see, and some of them shall come, 
Though now or streets are harsh and ashen-gray, 
Though our strong youths are strident now, or dumb. 
Friends, that sweet town, that wonder-town, shall rise. 
Naught can delay it. Though it may not be 
Just as I
poem
O dandelion, rich and haughty,
King of village flowers!
Each day is coronation time,
You have no humble hours.
I like to see you bring a troop
To beat the blue-grass spears,
To scorn the lawn-mower that would be
Like fate's triumphant shears.
Your yellow heads are cut away,
It seems your reign is o'er.
By noon
poem

When I see a young tree
In its white beginning,
With white leaves
And white buds
Barely tipped with green,
In the April weather,
In the weeping sunshine—
Then I see my lady,
My democratic queen,
Standing free and equal
With the youngest woodland sapling
Swaying