WHEN from his place a forest monarch falls,
A thunder shakes the leafy leagues across,
Reverberating to its utmost walls:
So through an Empire rings this sound of loss.
Still, as of old, the kingless forest-aisles
We see—but not the strength that was their fame:
So, at Death’s voice, far from his kingless aisles
The last Great Tribune answers to his name.
Nature, that builds great minds for mighty tasks,
Sculptured his frame to match the soul within;
Taught him how wisdom wields the power it asks;
For each new conquest set him more to win.
Rough-hewn was he for power, a massive mould,
Broad-brained, far-sighted, honourable, free
From narrowing envy, with a heart of gold
As wide and deep and dominant as the sea.
He passes, but his memory is power.
Behind him lives the good that none may stay;
His name remains a beacon-light, a tower
By which all feebler hearts may guide their way.
Come, let us follow him with reverent feet,
With fern and rata twine the wattle fair;
Tread soft: a mighty heart has ceased to beat
And one of Nature’s kings is sleeping there.