In Memory of Everybody's Friend "Marse Jim"

In Memory of Everybody’s Friends “Marse Jim” (James Haywood Southgate)

Back to his mother earth who gave,
Hath turned a giant son!
But e’er she wrapped him in her grave
She found his task well done.
With towering brow and pond’rous brain
He brought back days of old,
When shepherd hill and starlit plain
Built manhood strong and bold.

Gone from our streets and from our halls
The counsel of a friend,
Who gave us hope and lofty calls
And stood us to the end.
His heart was like the big outdoors,
His eye the glad sunshine;
His voice seemed as the sea that roars
A mystic peace, vivine.

He dwelt upon the sunlit hills
Where God’s great winds go by;
He lobed the rhythm of the rills,
He loved the wondrous sky.
The sweetness of the upturned soil,
The fragrance of the hay,
And rugged, honest sons of toil
Made glad each closing day.

The robin and the redbird found
A haven on his hill;
He watched the field mouse in the ground
And loved the daffodil.
He loved the clouds that passed along,
The lightning’s flash and flight;
He loved the gentle cricket’s song
When quiet filled the night.

There was a generous fireside glom
Within his cabin home,
Where young and old might come and go,
Where memory might roam.
None can forget the genial smile,
The bounding, inward joy
He gave in that old-fashioned style,
“Now goes the world, old boy

He seemed a part of all we owned…
The home, the church, the School;
Sweet charity his life enthroned,
He lived the golden rule.
On rostrum or at banquet mirth,
At desk or mid the crowds,
He lived with feet upon the earth
And head above the clouds.

Where’er he touched his mother earth
She gleamed with beauty rare;
He gave a rich and hallowed worth
To land and sea and air.
His was the universal life
That knows nor time nor place,
That struggles with a kingly strife
To leave a manlier race.

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