From The Topeka State Journal, February 12, 1914. By Witter Bynner.
An appreciation and character sketch of Lincoln, unusual and unique in form, but nonetheless forceful, is in the current issue of Harper’s Weekly. It comes from the pen of Witter Bynner, and is as follows:
Well, I was in the old Second Maine,
The first regiment in Washington from the Pine Tree State.
Of course I didn’t get the butt of the clip;
We was there guardin’ Washington—
We was all green.
I ain’t never been to but one theater in my life—
I didn’t know how to behave;
I ain’t never been since.
I can see as plain as my hat the box where he sat in
When he was shot.
There was quite a panic
When we found our President was in the shape he was in;
Never saw a soldier in the world but what liked him.
Yes, sir. His looks was kind o’ hard to forget.—
He was a spare man,
An old farmer.
Everything was all right, you know,
But he wan’t a smooth-appearin’ man at all,—
Not in no ways;
And a swellin’ kind of a thick lip like,—
A neighborin’ farmer.
And he was a jolly old fellow, always cheerful;
He wan’t so high but the boys could talk to him their own ways.
While I was servin’ at the Hospital
He’d come in and say, “You look nice in here,”—
Praise us up, you know.
And he’d bend over and talk to the boys—
And he’d talk so good to ‘em—so close—
That’s why I call him a farmer.
I don’t mean that everything about him wan’t all right, you understand.
It’s jes’—well, I was a farmer—
And he was jes’ everybody’s neighbor.—
I guess even you young folks would ’a’ liked him.