You waved your hand, I could not say farewell;
For those last words, “My time cannot be
Took speech away, Great Leader of our song
Time cannot touch the thought-built citadel
Wherein thou sittest throned. What sovereign spell,
If thy voice ceases, what prevailing tongue,
Can tune earth’s discords, show us right from wrong,
And light the darkening years wherein we dwell?
But if the dread, inevitable hour
Nears, and the music fashioned to thy mind
Is fit for angels’ high intelligence,
Yet take thy harp, leave one last strain behind,
To bid us guide the world’s progressive power
Up steps of change, with slow-foot reverence.
(Sonnets Round the Coast, p. 12)