Poems About America

Elegy - Tribute to Abraham Lincoln

He was a man who could be counted on
    to listen to all who wanted his ear,
Who would give each a fair hearing and allow them to
    depart with a sense of dignity, no matter what their concerns.
He was a man of the people, whose common roots
    gave him an uncommon ability to sense what others felt,
    and to know the primary drive that beat within each
    human heart - the drive for life and for greater ease
    for one's children.

All who came to him were received in trust,
    for he was not one to gossip in the halls of Congress
    or to idly let slip some news that was meant for his ears alone.
And to his credit, when someone owed him something
    that they could not repay, he did not count it against them,
    but instead, allowed time to take its course,
    and with grace, gave to each the utmost respect
    for doing the best they could.

This was no ordinary man, this man of the people,
    for despite his humble beginnings he carried a
    great weight of responsibility upon himself,
    wrapped about him like a mantle or invisible cloak
    that he always wore.
He knew, from the beginning, that he would have to
    work ceaselessly to better the lot of his fellows -
    something that did not even appear as a choice
    to his inner awareness,
For it was as much a part of his character
    as his fingers were part of his hand.

This sense of responsibility grew with him,
    ripening, maturing, developing, but always carried
    with a sense of inner necessity that exceeded the
    fatigue and often the sorrow which accompanied the carrying
    of a great burden.

When, in time, he had the opportunity to do some good
    for the larger lot of man and was given the means to do so
    with a mightier stroke of pen than he had ever
    believed possible,
He took the opportunity to further the promise of freedom -
    an opportunity that had been given to his fathers
    and to their fathers before them -
    to offer this promise to those who had
    never known such blessing.
He took it upon himself to bring hope
    to the disenfranchised, to the ones who had been omitted
    from history's claim to American greatness.

This was and is the legacy of Abraham Lincoln,
    the sixteenth president of the United States,
    in whose shoes can walk only the mighty in spirit -
    those whose calling is a calling to give all
    for the benefit of all.