07 April 2013

'IN MEMORIAM! The Hon. T.D. McGee'

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
                         Own originality!

                                                              – P.J. Buckley
                                                           Grand Seminary
                                          Montreal, 8th April 1868

Assassinated 145 years ago today.

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