Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

New England: Marshfield, Mass.


By William Henry Cuyler Hosmer (1814–1877)


A CLOUD is over Marshfield, and the wail

Of a vast empire floats upon the gale;

One without peer has shaken hands with death,

And yielded to the elements his breath:

Admonished that the last great change was nigh,

Majestic in decline, he came to die

Back to the rural scenes he loved so well,

Cheered by the low of kine, and pastoral bell,—

Back, where his ear once more might catch the roll

Of the roused Ocean,—symbol of his soul!

The agony is o’er,—the goal is won,—

Earth opens to receive her greatest son!

The world seems poorer now, the sky less fair,

And reigns a brooding sadness everywhere!

Mourn, stern New England! mother of the dead!

Bow to the dust thy richly laurelled head!

He was thy pride, the prop of thy renown,

The brightest jewel in thy dazzling crown;

Thy battle-fields of liberty he trod,

Holding thy soil in reverence next to God,

And the proud triumphs of his matchless mind

Are closely with thy heart-strings intertwined.