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Lincoln’s Favorite Poem
Abraham Lincoln said of the following poem: I would give all I am worth, and go into debt, to be able to write so fine a piece as I think that is.…

Lincoln’s Favorite Poem

Abraham Lincoln said of the following poem:

I would give all I am worth, and go into debt, to be able to write so fine a piece as I think that is.…

Lincoln memorized the entire poem and recited it so often that some folks mistakenly thought he was the author. The poem’s melancholy tone appealed to Lincoln and is here in edited form for brevity:

Mortality

Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
He passes from life to his rest in the grave.
The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,
Be scattered around, and together be laid;
And the young and the old, the low and the high,
Shall molder to dust, and together shall lie.
… The eye of the sage, and the heart of the brave,
Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave …
For we are the same that our fathers have been;
We see the same sights that our fathers have seen;
… To the life we are clinging, they also would cling—
But it speeds from us all like a bird on the wing.
… Yea, hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,
Are mingled together in sunshine and rain;
’Tis the wink of an eye ’tis the draught of a breath—
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud
Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?


—Author Unknown

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 1:14


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