SIR GEORGE CORNEWALL LEWIS BORN 1806. DIED MONDAY, APRIL 13TH, 1863.
Scholar and statesmen, two lives’ toil he pressed,
Into one honest, upright, useful life;
With his wide wisdom’s mildness tempering strife,
Nor save in change of labour taking rest.
In books he sought earth’s grey experienced stored,
He helped its application in affairs;
Nor found with office tools and party cares
His manly scholarship in disaccord.
Such two-fold lives, such doubly gifted men,
Are rare as precious; happy is the land
That can the calm and thoughtful eye command,
Which gathers past and present in its ken.
But rarer still to find one wielding power
O’er books and business, simple as a child,
Open to sound advising, humble, mild,
And prompt to weigh the problem of the hour.
It will be long before his place is filled,
His colleagues’, country’s loss in him supplied;
Longer, alas, before her tears are dried,
Who shared that blameless life, leaned on that heart un-chilled.
Title:Sir George Cornewall Lewis
Publication:The Bolton Chronicle
Date:25th April 1863
This poem offers an elegy for Sir George Cornewall Lewis (1806-1863), a British statesman known for his opposition to intervention in the American Civil War during the cabinet debates on the issue.