Joseph Story’s “Inscription for a Cenotaph” honoring John Marshall

In February 1836, Justice Joseph Story composed the following inscription for a cenotaph honoring his colleague and friend John Marshall who had died in July 1835:

To Marshall reared–the great, the good, the wise;
Born for all ages, honored in all skies;
His was the fame to mortals rarely given,
Begun on earth, but fixed in aim on heaven.
Genius, and learning, and consummate skill,
Moulding each thought, obedient to the will;
Affections pure, as e’er warmed human breast,
And love, in blessing others, doubly blest;
Virtue unspotted, uncorrupted truth,
Gentle in age, and beautiful in youth;–
These were his bright possessions. These had power
To charm through life and cheer his dying hour.
Are these all perished? No! but snatched from time,
To bloom afresh in yonder sphere sublime.
Kind was the doom (the fruit was ripe) to die,
Mortal is clothed with immortality.