The Gray Chief
FOR THE MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS
by Oliver Wendell Holmes
MEDICAL SOCIETY, 1859
'T is sweet to fight our battles o'er,
And crown with honest praise
The gray old chief, who strikes no more
The blow of better days.
Before the true and trusted sage
With willing hearts we bend,
When years have touched with hallowing age
Our Master, Guide, and Friend.
For all his manhood's labor past,
For love and faith long tried,
His age is honored to the last,
Though strength and will have died.
But when, untamed by toil and strife,
Full in our front he stands,
The torch of light, the shield of life,
Still lifted in his hands,
No temple, though its walls resound
With bursts of ringing cheers,
Can hold the honors that surround
His manhood's twice-told years!