O Captain! My Captain!
Shock was the first emotion to feel upon hearing of your passing, and I think I would have preferred to remain in such a state of such dumbfounded ignorance rather than bare all the agony of the sequel. Hearing that you are now gone from us is one thing, but accepting it is entirely another, and while everyone will and everyone must come to accept your passing in time, no one is relieved by this notion. You were a light of blithesome ardour that illumined a world of inexplicable atrocity. The murk of what is reality was cast aside by your contagious comedy: your hardy guffaws, your mirthful smiles, your good humour and easy character wore away anything akin to fretfulness and agitation, and your radiance as an actor and a comedian was but a glow in comparison to your resplendence as a human being. Your friendliness, your openness, your kindness, your consideration as an individual is irreplaceable, and while your admirers are spread out all over the world, we are united in our adoration of you. We admired you with the same devotion, the same passionate quality that you expressed in your art, and there will be no one more beloved for his dedication to his ability than you can be.
I hardly know what I write; I cannot really under the weight of so much sadness-- I am horribly inconsolable. Grief and dejection and the like is such a monstrous business. There is a sense of indebtedness I feel when thinking of how much you have given me though we never got the chance to meet. You were the voice of my childhood, the laughter of my adolescence, the sensibility of my later life. Your films, your roles, your improvisations have shaped all of our lives in some way or other, and will continue to do so even though you’ve gone from us. Children will hear the soothing tones of your voice, see your nurturing expressions, and they will come to love you as we do. Your legacy will be the world’s inheritance, and the laughter you left us with will be the birthright of a new generation. In this idea there is comfort, for in knowing that you’ve conferred on us a sundry of performances-- all of them wondrous, from a joyful genie to a doting father—we will never be without you.
This world, it seems, could offer you no consolation from the various agonies which tormented you. Addiction and depression could not leave you in peace, and it is my sincerest wish that wherever you are now, be you hovering in the vast expanse of the universe or remaining close by, that you have been granted the liberation and relief you hoped to achieve by leaving us. Time is a great mender of many things, and while delighting in everything you left us will soften our misery eventually, it can never undo the pang of having lost you so abruptly. We honour you as an artist, a true beacon of exultation in a world that is sometimes so discouraging. The world is diminished by your absence, but your presence made this place ever so much more marvelous.
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!