Take our hands, James Russell Lowell,
Our hearts are all thy own;
To-day we bid thee welcome
Not for ourselves alone.
In the long years of thy absence
Some of us have grown old,
And some have passed the portals
Of the Mystery untold;
For the hands that cannot clasp thee,
For the voices that are dumb,
For each and all I bid thee
A grateful welcome home!
For Cedarcroft’s sweet singer
To the nine-fold Muses dear;
For the Seer the winding Concord
Paused by his door to hear;
For him, our guide and Nestor,
Who the march of song began,
The white locks of his ninety years
Bared to thy winds, Cape Ann!
For him who, to the music
Her pines and hemlocks played,
Set the old and tender story
Of the lorn Acadian maid;
For him, whose voice for freedom
Swayed friend and foe at will,
Hushed is the tongue of silver,
The golden lips are still!
For her whose life of duty
At scoff and menace smiled,
Brave as the wife of Roland,
Yet gentle as a Child.
And for him the three-hilled city
Shall hold in memory long,
Those name is the hint and token
Of the pleasant Fields of Song!
For the old friends unforgotten,
For the young thou hast not known,
I speak their heart-warm greeting;
Come back and take thy own!
From England’s royal farewells,
And honors fitly paid,
Come back, dear Russell Lowell,
To Elmwood’s waiting shade!
Come home with all the garlands
That crown of right thy head.
I speak for comrades living,
I speak for comrades dead!