The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse to be divorced. Every other wound we seek to heal - every other affliction to forget; but this wound we consider it a duty to keep open - this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude. Where is the mother who would willingly forget the infant that perished like a blossom from her arms, though every recollection is a pang? Where is the child that would willingly forget the most tender of parents, though to remember be but to lament? Who, even in the hour of agony, would forget the friend over whom he mourns? Who, even when the tomb is closing upon the remains of her he most loved, when he feels his heart, as it were, crushed in the closing of its portal, would accept of consolation that must be bought by forgetfulness? No, the love which survives the tomb is one of the noblest attributes of the soul. If it has its woes, it has likewise its delights; and when the overwhelming burst of grief is calmed into the gentle tear of recollection, when the sudden anguish and the convulsive agony over the present ruins of all that we most loved are softened away in pensive meditation on all that it was in the days of its loveliness - who would root out such a sorrow from the heart? Though it may sometimes throw a passing cloud over the bright hour of gaiety, or spread a deeper sadness over the hour of gloom, yet who would exchange it even for the song of pleasure, or the burst of revelry? No, there is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song. There is a remembrance of the dead to which we turn even from the charms of the living. Oh, the grave! The grave! It buries every error - covers every defect - extinguishes every resentment! From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections.
The Gentle GardenerI'd like to leave but daffodils to mark my little way, To leave but tulips red and white behind me as I stray; I'd like to pass away from earth and feel I'd left behindBut roses and forget-me-nots for all who come to find.I'd like to sow the barren spots with all the flowers of earth, To leave a path where those who come should find but gentle mirth; And when at last I'm called upon to join the heavenly throngI'd like to feel along my way I'd left no sign of wrong. And yet the cares are many and the hours of toil are few; There is not time enough on earth for all I'd like to do; But, having lived and having toiled, I'd like the world to findSome little touch of beauty that my soul had left behind.