A True Hero
Poem By Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
JAMES BRAIDWOOD: Died June 22, 1861.
NOT at the battle front,--writ of in story;
Not on the blazing wreck steering to glory;
Not while in martyr-pangs soul and flesh sever,
Died he--this Hero new; hero forever.
No pomp poetic crowned, no forms enchained him,
No friends applauding watched, no foes arraigned him:
Death found him there, without grandeur or beauty,
Only an honest man doing his duty:
Just a God-fearing man, simple and lowly,
Constant at kirk and hearth, kindly as holy:
Death found--and touched him with finger in flying:--
Lo! he rose up complete--hero undying.
Now, all men mourn for him, lovingly raise him
Up from his life obscure, chronicle, praise him;
Tell his last act, done midst peril appalling,
And the last word of cheer from his lips falling;
Follow in multitudes to his grave's portal;
Leave him there, buried in honor immortal.
So many a Hero walks unseen beside us,
Till comes the supreme stroke sent to divide us.
Then the LORD calls His own,--like this man, even,
Carried, Elijah-like, fire-winged, to heaven.