A band played the National Anthem. West Virginia Army National Guard Chaplain Brad Reed led a short prayer "for the West Virginia mountains, which long to feel the gentle step of Senator Byrd."
Manchin read Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar," which Byrd had recited nearly a decade ago to commemorate National Poetry Month in 2001.
"Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, when I put out to sea," Manchin read. "From tho' from out our bourne of time and place the flood may bear me far, I hope to see my pilot face to face when I have crossed the bar."
A military color guard carried Byrd's casket up the Capitol's south steps, and family members held a short memorial inside the building.
Starting at 9 p.m. and running through 9 a.m. today, West Virginians were invited to file by the casket in a 12-hour, overnight public viewing.
Mourners filed through the marble halls of the Capitol -- Byrd was 14 when the building was dedicated on West Virginia Day in 1932 -- past portraits of the state's governors.
Byrd's casket was draped with a West Virginia flag, watched over by uniformed State Police troopers and other officers, and displayed on the Capitol Rotunda's lower level, just below the larger-than-life statute that declares the senator "West Virginian of the 20th Century."
Aides handed each mourner a photo of Byrd with the quote, "When I am gone and opened, they will find West Virginia on my heart."
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.