Abraham Lincoln’s Favorite Poem That Changed His Life


President Abraham Lincoln’s Favorite Poem That Changed His Life


“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Favorite Poem of Famous US President, Abraham Lincoln: The power and impact of poetry cannot be expressed in words. Words are superficial but the emotions expressed through them are powerful beyond imagination. And this is not just our opinion, many great and famous people have confirmed this fact. Even, the former president of the United States of America, Mr. Abraham Lincoln has accepted the influence of poetry over his own life.

Mr. Lincoln’s favorite poem was “Oh! Why Should the Spirit of Mortal Be Proud?” It was written by William Knox, a Scotchman, although Mr. Lincoln never knew the author’s name. He once said to a friend:

“This poem has been a great favorite with me for years. It was first shown to me, when a young man, by a friend. I afterward saw it and cut it from a newspaper and learned it by heart. I would give a great deal to know who wrote it, but I have never been able to ascertain.”

So, today we are going to share this great poem (which once has inspired one of the greatest presidents of the USA) with our smart readers so that they could also motivate themselves through the influential words of this beautiful poem.

Abraham Lincoln's Favorite Poem

Oh! Why Should The Spirit of Mortal Be Proud

“Oh! why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
Like a swift-fleeing meteor, a fast-flying cloud,
A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,
He passeth 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, and the low and the high,
Shall moulder to dust, and together shall lie.

“The infant a mother attended and loved;
The mother, that infant’s affection who proved,
The husband, that mother, and infant who blessed
–Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest.

“The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye,
Shone beauty and pleasure–her triumphs are by;
And the memory of those who loved her and praised,
Are alike from the minds of the living erased.

“The hand of the king, that the sceptre hath borne,
The brow of the priest, that the mitre hath worn,
The eye of the sage, and the heart of the brave,
Are hidden and lost in the depths of the grave.

“The peasant, whose lot was to sow and to reap,
The herdsman, who climbed with his goats up the steep;
The beggar, who wandered in search of his bread,
Have faded away like the grass that we tread.

“The saint, who enjoyed the communion of heaven,
The sinner, who dared to remain unforgiven;
The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just,
Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.

“So the multitude goes–like the flower or the weed
That withers away to let others succeed;
So the multitude comes–even those we behold,
To repeat every tale that has often been told:

“For we are the same our fathers have been;
We see the same sights our fathers have seen;
We drink the same stream, we view the same sun,
And run the same course our fathers have run.

“The thoughts we are thinking, our fathers would think;
From the death we are shrinking, our fathers would shrink;
To the life we are clinging, they also would cling
–But it speeds from us all like a bird on the wing.

“They loved–but the story we cannot unfold;
They scorned–but the heart of the haughty is cold;
They grieved–but no wail from their slumber will come;
They joyed–but the tongue of their gladness is dumb.

“They died–aye, they died–and we things that are now,
That walk on the turf that lies o’er their brow,
And make in their dwellings a transient abode,
Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road.

“Yea! hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,
Are mingled together in sunshine and rain;
And the smile and the tear, the song and the dirge,
Still follow each other, like surge upon surge.

“‘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?”

“People are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

– Abraham Lincoln

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