Abraham Lincoln was occasionally suicidal. Twice in his twenties and thirties he talked, seriously enough to frighten his friends, of ending his life. Shortly after Lincoln was assassinated, his friend and former law partner revealed that the U.S. President had once written and published a suicide poem.
Now an independent scholar/painter/dog sitter believes he’s tracked it down. Most other Lincoln experts are inclined to agree. Entitled “The Suicideâ€™s Soliloquy,” the poem “has the same meter as Lincolnâ€™s other published verse, with characteristic references, syntax, diction, and tone.” It concludes with these two stanzas:
Sweet steel! Come forth from out your sheath,
And glistâ€™ning, speak your powers;
Rip up the organs of my breath,
And draw my blood in showers!
I strike! It quivers in that heart
Which drives me to this end;
I draw and kiss the bloody dart,
My lastâ€”my only friend!
(Thanks to Andrea for the link.)
*Don’t believe me? Try singing it to the tune of “Ouija Board.”