It reminds me of another speech maker. During a speech in Memphis on April 3, in a year not too far past, the earlier speaker borrowed without attribution from Exodus and the nineteenth century poet Julia W. Howe.
In the closing words of that speech, he reflected hopefully on the progress we have made as a nation toward healing our most frightful divisions. Somewhat morbidly, he also spoke as if he expected soon to die.
I was moved by this wedding of hope and sober mortality.
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!We no longer tolerate borrowing and reinterpreting the words of others. We now expect all eloquence to spring forth each morning anew and without history. This unrealistic expectation is unwise.
And so I'm happy, tonight.
I'm not worried about anything.
I'm not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!
Martin Luther King was assassinated the next day, in Memphis, on April 4, 1968.
[Update: edited slightly Feb. 20 to remove sarcasm].