Angels will hover round my bed,
To waft my spirit home.
The following is apparently the customary form for heads of families:
Burns.–On the 20th inst., Michael Burns, aged 40 years.
Dearest father, thou hast left us,
Hear thy loss we deeply feel;
But ’tis God that has bereft us,
He can all our sorrows heal.
Funeral at 2 o’clock sharp.
There is something very simple and pleasant about the following,
which, in Philadelphia, seems to be the usual form for consumptives
of long standing. (It deplores four distinct cases in the single
copy of the LEDGER which lies on the Memoranda editorial table):
Bromley.–On the 29th inst., of consumption, Philip Bromley,
in the 50th year of his age.
Affliction sore long time he bore,
Physicians were in vain–
Till God at last did hear him mourn,
And eased him of his pain.
That friend whom death from us has torn,
We did not think so soon to part;
An anxious care now sinks the thorn
Still deeper in our bleeding heart.
This beautiful creation loses nothing by repetition. On the contrary,
the oftener one sees it in the LEDGER, the more grand and awe-inspiring
With one more extract I will close:
Doble.–On the 4th inst., Samuel Pervil Worthington Doble,
aged 4 days.
Our little Sammy’s gone,
His tiny spirit’s fled;
Our little boy we loved so dear
Lies sleeping with the dead.
A tear within a father’s eye,
A mother’s aching heart,
Can only tell the agony
How hard it is to part.
Could anything be more plaintive than that, without requiring further
concessions of grammar? Could anything be likely to do more toward
reconciling deceased to circumstances, and making him willing to go?
Perhaps not. The power of song can hardly be estimated. There is
an element about some poetry which is able to make even physical
suffering and death cheerful things to contemplate and consummations
to be desired. This element is present in the mortuary poetry
of Philadelphia degree of development.
The custom I have been treating of is one that should be adopted
in all the cities of the land.
It is said that once a man of small consequence died, and the
Rev. T. K. Beecher was asked to preach the funeral sermon–
a man who abhors the lauding of people, either dead or alive,
except in dignified and simple language, and then only for merits
which they actually possessed or possess, not merits which they
merely ought to have possessed. The friends of the deceased got
up a stately funeral. They must have had misgivings that the
corpse might not be praised strongly enough, for they prepared
some manuscript headings and notes in which nothing was left
unsaid on that subject that a fervid imagination and an unabridged
dictionary could compile, and these they handed to the minister
as he entered the pulpit. They were merely intended as suggestions,
and so the friends were filled with consternation when the minister
stood in the pulpit and proceeded to read off the curious odds
and ends in ghastly detail and in a loud voice! And their
consternation solidified to petrification when he paused at the end,
contemplated the multitude reflectively, and then said, impressively:
“The man would be a fool who tried to add anything to that.
Let us pray!”
And with the same strict adhesion to truth it can be said that the
man would be a fool who tried to add anything to the following
transcendent obituary poem. There is something so innocent,
so guileless, so complacent, so unearthly serene and self-satisfied
about this peerless “hog-wash,” that the man must be made of stone
who can read it without a dulcet ecstasy creeping along his backbone
and quivering in his marrow. There is no need to say that this
poem is genuine and in earnest, for its proofs are written all
over its face. An ingenious scribbler might imitate it after
a fashion, but Shakespeare himself could not counterfeit it.
It is noticeable that the country editor who published it did
not know that it was a treasure and the most perfect thing of its
kind that the storehouses and museums of literature could show.
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135