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even in its far-distant reaches, rises before us with all its persuasive realities! Take but one little narrow space of time, and how affecting are its associations! Within the flight of one half century, how many of the great, the good, and the wise, will be gathered here! How many in the loveliness of infancy, the beauty of youth, the vigor of manhood, and the maturity of age, will lie down here, and dwell in the bosom
of their mother earth! The rich and the poor, the gay and
the wretched, the favorites of thousands, and the forsaken of the world, the stranger in his solitary grave, and the patriarch surrounded by the kindred of a long lineage! How many will here bury their brightest hopes, or blasted expectations! How many bitter tears will here be shed! How many agonizing sighs will here be heaved! How many trembling feet will cross the pathways, and, returning, leave behind them the dearest objects of their reverence or their love!
And if this were all, sad indeed, and funereal, would be our thoughts; gloomy, indeed, would be these shades, and desolate these prospects.
But thanks be to God - the evils which he permits have their attendant mercies, and are blessings in disguise. The bruised reed will not be utterly laid prostrate. The wounded heart will not always bleed. The voice of consolation will spring up in the midst of the silence of these regions of death. The mourner will revisit these shades with a secret, though melancholy pleasure. The hand of friendship will delight to cherish the flowers, and the shrubs, that fringe the lowly grave, or the sculptured monument. The earliest beams of the morning will play upon these summits with a refreshing cheerfulness, and the lingering tints of evening hover on them with a tranquillizing glow. Spring will invite hither the footsteps of the young by its opening foliage, and Autumn detain the contemplative by its latest bloom. The votary of learning and science will here learn to elevate his genius by the holiest studies. The devout will here offer up
the silent tribute of pity, or the prayer of gratitude. The rivalries of the world will here drop from the heart; the spirit of forgiveness will gather new impulses; the selfishness of avarice will be checked; the restlessness of ambition will be rebuked; vanity will let fall its plumes; and pride, as it sees "what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue," will acknowledge the value of virtue as far, immeasurably far, beyond that of fame.
But that, which will be ever present, pervading these shades like the noonday sun, and shedding cheerfulness around, is the consciousness, the irrepressible consciousness, amidst all these lessons of human mortality, of the higher truth, that we are beings, not of time, but of eternity; that "this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality; that this but the threshold and starting-point of an existence, compared with whose duration the ocean is but as a drop, nay, the whole creation an evanescent quantity.
Let us banish, then, the thought, that this is to be the abode of gloom, which will haunt the imagination by its terrors, or chill the heart by its solitude. Let us cultivate feelings and sentiments more worthy of ourselves and more worthy of Christianity. Here let us erect the memorials of our love, and our gratitude, and our glory. Here let the brave repose, who have died in the cause of their country. Here let the statesman rest, who has achieved the victories of peace, not less renowned than war. Here let genius find a home, that has sung immortal strains, or has instructed with still diviner eloquence. Here let learning and science, the votaries of inventive art, and the teacher of the philosophy of nature, come. Here let youth and beauty, blighted by premature decay, drop, like tender blossoms, into the virgin earth; and here let age retire, ripened for the harvest. Above all, here let the benefactors of mankind, the good, the merciful, the meek, the pure in heart, be congregated ; for to them belongs an undying praise. And let us take
comfort,nay, let us rejoice, that in future ages, long after we are gathered to the generations of other days, thousands of kindling hearts will here repeat the sublime declaration, "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them."
a:all, call, fall, tall, wall, cause, pause, aught, caught, nought; - always, thraldom, falcon, water.
The Unknown Grave. MOIR.
WHO sleeps below? who sleeps below?—
Ask of the breezes, as they blow;
Say, do they heed, or hear thy call?
A hundred summer suns have showered
With piercing floods, and hues of night,
Was he of high or low degree?
Dwelt he within some lowly cot,
And, from his youth to labor wed,
Say, died he ripe, and full of years,
Bowed down and bent by hoary eld,
When all the friends that blessed his prime
Like snow-flakes melting in the sea?
Or, 'mid the summer of his years,
When round him thronged his children young,
Perhaps he perished for the faith,-
Who suffered tortures, bonds, and death,
Say, was he one to science blind,
A groper in earth's dungeon dark?—
Hush, wild surmise! 'tis vain 'tis vain!
Then what is life, when thus we see
What doth it matter, then, if thus,
Without a stone, without a name, To impotently herald us,
We float not on the breath of fame, But, like the dewdrop from the flower, Pass, after glittering for an hour,
Since soul decays not? Freed from earth, And earthly coils, it bursts away: Receiving a celestial birth,
And spurning off its bonds of clay, It soars, and seeks another sphere, And blooms through Heaven's eternal year!
Do good; shun evil; live not thou
To draw thy steps from truth aside; Look to thy journey's end-the grave! And trust in Him whose arm can save.