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Indicative of the passion of the people on the 15th of April, 1865.
Good Friday was the day Of the prodigy and crime, When they killed him in his pity, When they killed him in his prime Of clemency and calm-- When with yearning he was filled To redeem the evil-willed, And, though conqueror, be kind; But they killed him in his kindness, In their madness and their blindness, And they killed him from behind. There is sobbing of the strong, And a pall upon the land; But the People in their weeping Bare the iron hand: Beware the People weeping When they bare the iron hand. He lieth in his blood-- The father in his face; They have killed him, the Forgiver-- The Avenger takes his place,* The Avenger wisely stern, Who in righteousness shall do What the heavens call him to, And the parricides remand; For they killed him in his kindness, In their madness and their blindness, And his blood is on their hand. There is sobbing of the strong, And a pall upon the land; But the People in their weeping Bare the iron hand: Beware the People weeping When they bare the iron hand.
* At this period of excitement the thought was by some passionately welcomed that the Presidential successor had been raised up by heaven to wreak vengeance on the South. The idea originated in the remembrance that Andrew Johnson by birth belonged to that class of Southern whites who never cherished love for the dominant: that he was a citizen of Tennessee, where the contest at times and in places had been close and bitter as a Middle-Age feud; the himself and family had been hardly treated by the Secessionists.
But the expectations build hereon (if, indeed, ever soberly entertained), happily for the country, have not been verified.
Likely the feeling which would have held the entire South chargeable with the crime of one exceptional assassin, this too has died away with the natural excitement of the hour.
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