Title:
Lincoln

Author:
Albion Fellows Bacon

Date:
1925

Source:
Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 1-2

Article Type:
Article

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Lincoln

By ALBION FELLOWS BACON

I

THE CHALLENGE

Ye who search for the Hidden Springs, Ye who look for a sign, Ye who worship at Freedom's feet, Here is her holiest shrine.

Here grew a new Democracy, Here was the eaglet's nest, Where his wings grew strong for his after flight—Here, in our Middle West.

II

LINCOLN'S EDUCATION

No Alma Mater of the cap and gown Had Lincoln, but two Gentle mothers, dressed In homespun, taught him all their simple lore, And life's great lessons on his soul impressed.

The neighbors, too, wood wisdom and farm craft Gave to him, and true hospitality, With sturdy independence; (mark the race That lives here still, for there are none so free.)

Each traveller who passed his way brought bits Of wisdom, mixed with gossip, and some word Of the great world. From passengers he rowed Across the ferry, tales and news he heard.

He had few books, but they were choice and great, Read o'er and o'er. Then, ranging far and wide, Through all the settlements, for treasured tomes, He gleaned the learning of the country-side.

They tell us how the eager lad, enrapt, Bent o'er the page the firelight flashed upon, And the first sun-shaft, through the cabin chink, Found him with open book, awaiting dawn.

But 'twas the wilderness that taught him most, Made him a mystic, seer; drew him, at length, To greatness, by its dim, vast distances, Taught patience, silence, fortitude and strength.

Far blue horizons beckoned from these hills, Great visions mirrored in the shadowy stream. The Gulf called through the creek, and overhead The wide spread heavens re-told the ancient dream.

The heavens declared to him the glory of God, But did they give him, too, a vague belief (Standing, perchance, in moonlight mid the sheaves) That all should make obeisance to his sheaf?

III

GREETING

Great Lincoln, neighbor of an earlier time, The world your manhood claims; to us alone Belongs your youth. We reach back eager hands To clasp your own.

We send our loving thought to that grave lad Whom all men loved—kind, gentle, thoughtful, true, Our "Nature's gentleman". As you were then, We honor you.



Published by the Indiana University Department of History.