Wilkes Booth-April 26, 1865
Pains the sharp sentence the heart in whose wrath
it was uttered,
Now thou art cold;
Vengeance, the headlong, and Justice, with purpose
Loosen their hold.
Death brings atonement; he did that whereof ye
But, from that crisis of crime in which Satan did
Suffered the worst.
Harshly the red dawn arose on a deed of his doing,
Never to mend;
But harsher days he wore out in the bitter pursuing
And the wild end.
So lift the pale flag of truce, wrap those mysteries
In whose avail
Madness that moved, and the swift retribution that
Falter and fail.
So the soft purples that quiet the heavens with
Willing to fall,
Lend him one fold, his illustrious victim adorning
With wider pall.
Back to the cross, where the Saviour uplifted in
Bade all souls live,
Turns the rest bosom of Nature, his mother, low
This poem is in the public domain.