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known the feeling of an anxious longing for DEATH-Resignation in.
death; and although it be a nobler one than that of an absolute weariness of existence, it is nevertheless blamable. Life must first, for as long a period as Providence wills it, be enjoyed, or suffered; in one word, gone through, and that Will there be any heart still memory keeping with a full submission, without murmuring, lamenting, or repining. There is one important law of nature which we should never lose sight of: I mean that of the ripening for death. Death is not a break in existence; it is but an intermediate circumstance, a transition from one form of our finite existence to another. The moment of maturity for death cannot be decided by any human wisdom or inward feeling, and to attempt to do so would be nothing better than the vain rashness of human pride. That decision can only be made by Him who can at once look back through our whole course; and both reason and duty require that we should leave the hour to Him, and never rebel against His decrees by a single impatient wish. The first and most important thing is, to learn to master ourselves, and to throw ourselves with peaceful confidence on Him who never changes, looking on every When no star twinkles with its eye of glory situation, whether pleasant or otherwise, as a source from which our interior existence and individual character may draw increasing strength; and hence springs that entire submission which few attain to, although all fancy Will there be one then, versed in Misery's story, Pacing it round? they feel it. Von Humboldt.
On that low mound
And wintry storms have, o'er its ruins hoary,
That lisps the fault'ring strain.-O! may it ne'er
When I, beneath the cold red earth, am sleeping,
Will there for me be any bright eye weeping
When the great winds, through leafless forests rushing,
Like full hearts breakWhen the swollen streams, o'er crag and gully rushing,
Sad music make,
Will there be one, whose heart Despair is crushing,
Mourn for my sake?
When the bright sun upon that spot is shining,
And the small flowers, their buds and blossoms
It may be so; but this is selfish sorrow
That awful, that tremendous day,
A weakness and a wickedness to borrow
Shall never need.
Burst through that clay,
And rudely carol these incondite lays,
Soon shall the hand be check'd, and dumb Lay me, then, gently in my narrow dwelling,
Thou gentle heart; And though thy bosom should with grief be swelling,
Let no tear start. It were in vain: for Time has long been knelling, "Sad one, depart!" Motherwell.
He that always waits upon God, is ready I had a little blossom, its nursing-root was whensoever He calls. Neglect not to set your accounts even: he is a happy man who so lives, as that death at all times may find him at leisure to die. Feltham.
And in my breast I hid it, when its angel mother fled;
But at every blast I shudder'd, and I trembled day and night,
Lest some unseen destroyer my only bud should blight.
'Tis less than to be born: a lasting sleep: A quiet resting from all jealousy:
A thing we all pursue. I know besides
It is but giving over of a gaine that must be Brought forth in ruddy health, my lovely, blooming boy;
Beaumont and Fletcher.
Two years of sleepless care, yet of high and sacred joy,
With the curls around his head, and the lustre DEATH-of a Soldier.
in his eye,
Death's a formal thing And the music on his lip, like a song-bird of In jails, on scaffolds, or on beds of down; the sky. But in the field, there he throws off his shroud, And, full of mettle as a courser, starts, The comrade, not the tyrant, of the brave! Haynes. DEATH-a change to Eternal Spring.
How still! My God! Is there no voice?
The white lip quivereth not to my impassion'd kiss!
The body being only the covering of the soul, at its dissolution we shall discover the secrets of nature-the darkness shall be dispelled, and our souls irradiated with light and glory a glory without a shadow, a glory that shall surround us; and from whence we shall look down, and see day and night beneath us; and as now we cannot lift up our eyes towards the sun without dazzling, what shall we do when we behold the divine light in its illustrious original? Seneca.
The more we sink into the infirmities of age, the nearer we are to immortal youth. All people are young in the other world. That state is an eternal spring, ever fresh and flourishing. Now, to pass from midnight into noon on the sudden; to be decrepit one minute and all spirit and activity the next, must be a desirable change. To call this dying is an abuse of language. Jeremy Collier.
O God! it is a fearful thing
Death has no terrors for me; it is an event I always look to with cheerfulness, if not with pleasure and be assured, the subject is more grateful to me than any other. There is a spot near the village of Dauphiny where I should like to be buried. Suffer no pomp to be used at my funeral, no monument to mark the spot where I am laid; but put me quietly in the earth, place a sundial over my grave, and let me be forgotten. John Howard.
It is not strange that that early love of the heart should come back, as it so often does, when the dim eye is brightening with its last light. It is not strange that the freshest fountains the heart has ever known in its wastes should bubble up anew when the lifeblood is growing stagnant. It is not strange that a bright memory should come to a dying old man, as the sunshine breaks across the hills at the close of a stormy day; nor that in the light of that ray, the very clouds that made the day dark should grow gloriously beautiful. Hawthorn.
Who can describe the pleasure and delight, the peace of mind and soft tranquillity, which the sickly boy felt in the balmy air, and among the green hills and rich woods, of an inland village! Who can tell how scenes of
A death-like sleep, A gentle wafting to immortal life.
peace and quietude sink into the minds of
custom has indeed been second nature, and
No earthly clinging
No lingering gaze—
A land of darkness, as darkness itself, and of the shadow of death; without any order, and where the light is as darkness. Job.
Of the great number to whom it has been my painful professional duty to have administered in the last hour of their lives, I have sometimes felt surprised that so few have appeared reluctant to go to the undiscovered country "from whose bourne no traveller returns!" Many, we may easily suppose, have manifested this willingness to die from an impatience of suffering, or from that passive
debility and bodily exhaustion.
indifference which is sometimes the result of
DEATH-of the Young. Ephemera die all at sunset, and no insect of this class has ever sported in the beams of the morning sun. Happier are ye, little human ephemera! Ye played only in the ascending beams, and in the early dawn, and in the eastern light; ye drank only of the prelibations of life; hovered for a little space over a world of freshness and of blossoms; and fell asleep in innocence before yet the morning dew was exhaled! Richter.
Oh! it is hard to take to heart the lesson that such deaths will teach; but let no man reject it, for it is one that all must learn, and is a mighty, universal truth. When Death strikes down the innocent and young, for every fragile form from which he lets the panting spirit free, a hundred virtues rise, in shapes of Mercy, Charity, and Love, to walk the world, and bless it. Of every tear that sorrowing mortals shed on such green graves, some good is born, some gentler nature comes. In the destroyer's steps there spring up bright creations that defy his power, and his dark path becomes a way of light to heaven.
hand of God, and waiting for the breath of life; not one who had lived and suffered death.
Her couch was dressed with here and there some winter berries and green leaves, gathered in a spot she had been used to favour. "When I die, put near me something that has loved the light, and had the sky above it always."
She was dead. Dear, gentle, patient, noble Nell, was dead. Her little bird-a poor slight thing the pressure of a finger would have crushed- -was stirring nimbly in its cage; and the strong heart of its child-mistress was mute and motionless for ever.
Where were the traces of her early cares, her sufferings, and fatigues? All gone. Sorrow was dead indeed in her, but peace and perfect happiness were born; imaged in her tranquil beauty and profound repose.
And still her former self lay there, unaltered in this change. Yes. The old fireside had smiled upon that same sweet face; it had passed, like a dream, through haunts of misery and care; at the door of the poor schoolmaster on the summer evening, before the furnacefire upon the cold wet night, at the still bedside of the dying boy, there had been the same mild lovely look. So shall we know the angels in their majesty, after death.
She was dead, and past all help, or need of
it. The ancient rooms she had seemed to fill
with life, even while her own was waning fast-the garden she had tended-the eyes she had gladdened-the noiseless haunts of many a thoughtful hour-the paths she had trodden as it were but yesterday—could know her never more.
It is not on earth that Heaven's justice ends. Think what earth is, compared with the world to which her young spirit has winged its early flight; and say, if one deliberate wish expressed in solemn terms above this bed could call her back to life, which of us would
When the dusk of evening had come on, and not a sound disturbed the sacred stillness of the place when the bright moon poured in her light on tomb and monument, on pillar, wall, and arch, and most of all (it seemed to them) upon her quiet grave-in that calm time, when all outward things and inward thoughts teem with assurances of immortality, and worldly hopes and fears are humbled in the dust before them-then, with tranquil and submissive hearts they turned away, and left the child with God, Dickens.
DEATH-of the Young.
Paul had never risen from his little bed. He lay there, listening to the noises in the street, quite tranquilly; not caring much how the time went, but watching it and watching everything about him with observing eyes.
When the sunbeams struck into his room through the rustling blinds, and quivered on the opposite wall like golden water, he knew that evening was coming on, and that the sky was red and beautiful. As the reflection died away, and a gloom went creeping up the wall, he watched it deepen, deepen, deepen into night. Then he thought how the long streets were dotted with lamps, and how the peaceful stars were shining overhead. His fancy had a strange tendency to wander to the river, which he knew was flowing through the great city; and now he thought how black it was, and how deep it would look, reflecting the host of stars-and more than all, how steadily it rolled away to meet the sea.
As it grew later in the night, and footsteps in the street became so rare that he could hear them coming, count them as they passed, and lose them in the hollow distance, he would lie and watch the many-coloured rings about the candle, and wait patiently for day. His only trouble was, the swift and rapid river. He felt forced, sometimes, to try to stop itto stem it with his childish hands-or choke
its way with sand-and when he saw it coming
on, resistless, he cried out! But a word from him to himself; and leaning his poor head Florence, who was always at his side, restored upon her breast, he told Floy of his dream,
When day began to dawn again, he watched for the sun; and when its cheerful light began to sparkle in the room, he pictured to himself
pictured! he saw-the high church-towers rising up into the morning sky, the town reviving, waking, starting into life once more, the river glistening as it rolled (but rolling fast as ever), and the country bright with dew. Familiar sounds and cries came by degrees into the street below; the servants in the house were roused and busy; faces looked in at the door, and voices asked his attendants softly how he was. Paul always answered for himself, "I am better. I am a great deal better, thank you! Tell papa so!"
By little and little, he got tired of the bustle of the day, the noise of carriages and carts, and people passing and re-passing; and would fall asleep, or be troubled with a restless and uneasy sense again-the child could hardly tell whether this were in his sleeping or his waking moments - of that rushing river. "Why, will it never stop, Floy?" he would
sometimes ask her. "It is bearing me away, I think !
But Floy could always soothe and reassure him; and it was his daily delight to make her by her head down on his pillow, and take
"Now lay me down," he said; "and Floy, come close to me, and let me see you!"
Sister and brother wound their arms around
each other, and the golden light came streaming in, and fell upon them, locked together. "How fast the river runs between its green banks and the rushes, Floy! But it's very Dear the sca. I hear the waves! They always said so!"
Presently he told her that the motion of the boat upon the stream was lulling him to rest. How green the banks were now, how bright the flowers growing on them, and how tall the rushes! Now the boat was out at sea, but gliding smoothly on. And now there was a shore before him. Who stood on the bank?
He put his hands together, as he had been used to do, at his prayers. He did not remove his arms to do it; but they saw him fold them so, behind her neck.
"Mamma is like you, Floy. I know her by the face! But tell them that the print upon the stairs at school is not divine enough. The light about the head is shining on me as I go !"
The golden ripple on the wall came back again, and nothing else stirred in the room. The old, old fashion! The fashion that came in with our first garments, and will last unchanged until our race has run its course, and the wide firmament is rolled up like a scroll. The old, old fashion-Death!
Oh thank God, all who see it, for that older fashion yet, of Immortality! And look upon us, angels of young children, with regards not quite estranged, when the swift river bears us to the ocean! Dickens.
DEATH-of a Youth.
He is not lost! though closed those lustrous
Though mute those lips, and cold that classic
He is not lost! though we have laid him low, With loving thoughts stood round his early grave, Though o'er his bier the trembling grass shall grow, And the old oak its stately branches wave.