“The power of the State reared up like a cliff of basalt.”
Must learn the power of the state—
No man, be he however great,
Wields full control of all of that.
Other than Lincoln, there was none
More capable, more qualified
To lead—so he believed with pride:
Is something new beneath the sun?
Knew well that king or emperor
Ruled but by virtue; at the door
That scuffling sound portending death.
He watched his world in disarray,
Believed himself Shakespearean,
Besieged, beloved, empyrean,
The central figure of the play.
So clowns may exit, fools depart;
The lot of players seldom seen
Upon a consequential scene—
We act, and rarely, rise to art.