The Hon. T.D. McGee
Dedicated to his sorrowing Widow
"Cum lugeate, lugebo."Dead! – and by a death terrific! –
Erin, hear it! – Can it be,
The young spirit so prolific
Beats no more in great McGee?
Dies irae! – break it gently
Oh! let pleasure hold her breath!
For 'tis true that tongue so mighty
Now lies cold in silent death!
Breathe his name in muffled numbers!
Gather, nations, round his brier!
Gaze upon him as he slumbers,
Starting pity's choicest tear!
Nature seems to've caught the spirit
Of his sad, yet noble fall,
And, through sympathy for merit,
Drops to-day her virgin pall.
Envy may spit all her rancour –
Strike at honesty her best –
She but does her body honour,
While she sends his soul to rest.
Patriot, orator,and statesman
Of unsullied purity;
With such pow'rs were interwoven
Fairest flow'rs of poetry.
But no longer chained in wonder
Shall admiring throngs rejoice,
Or give back applause in thunder
To the magic of his voice!
Hope, though like a paraphelion,
Cheers us in our awful gloom:
For 'tis sweet to know Religion
Smoothed his pathway to the tomb.
Noblest forms must soon or layer,
Mingle with their kindred dust,
While their spirits rise to brighter
Regions of the happy just.
Spirits! bear his soul to heaven!
And, what's left, – a glorious name! –
Be it reverently given
To be canonized by fame!
Ah! but who can consolation.
To his orphans now impart!
Or can sooth in dereliction
His poor widow's breaking heart!
Let us breathe a De profundis,
That a bright eternity
May receive the spirit of his
– P.J. Buckley
Montreal, 8th April 1868
Assassinated 145 years ago today.