What stuff made this man? This loved man . . . cherished man . . . who held his warring children at bay, then wrath spent . . . beckoned them in union once again.
Where the smiles on this man? Why the deep sorrow traced, etched, furrowed permanent this face? What burdened, broke, bent this spirit? What load bowed and robbed him?
What light broke upon this man’s soul? To stand amidst, above a time and a nation and pronounce a people free. To stretch a nation to fit its ancient writ . . . demand its honesty to own up to its noble claim. Point toes to a mark.
He sits illumined . . . enthroned . . . more a father than a king . . . inviting a nation to his lap to sit and gaze. To stand in silence beneath his shadow. This captain who steered us through such white waters . . . until . . . giving victory in a no-win proposition. Then lay dead.
Misshapen, spindly, severe, craggy rail-splitter. Who made you? Whose tool wrought a nation’s veneration, love and awe? What spring flowed with timeless virtue? What standard did your eye so continually behold? To whom is owed the honor? Patience mercy wisdom justice magnanimity fairness humility kindness courage righteousness humor. Rivers rise no higher than their source. None can be what is not.
What made this man?
Lincoln’s image take from:
U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, “Ben’s Guide (3-5): Symbols of US Government,” Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids, February 23, 2001, <http://bensguide.gpo.gov/3-5/symbols/print/lincoln_torso.html> (January 13, 2011).