Look at a picture of Lincoln and think a little about his character. Then consider what a remarkable word-picture this poem paints. What was the "mad stray bolt from the zenith" that struck down our great President?

Like a gaunt, scraggly pine
Which lifts its head above the mournful sandhills;
And patiently, through dull years of bitter silence,
Untended and uncared for, starts to grow.

Ungainy, laboring, hugh,
The wind of the north has twisted and gnarled its branches;
Yet in the heat of mid-summer days, when thunder clouds ring the horizon,
A nation of men shall rest beneath it's shade.

And it shall protect them all,
Hold everyone safe there, watching aloof in silence;
Until at last, one mad stray bolt from the zenith
Shall strike it in an instant down to earth. John Gould Fletcher
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