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A youth, a very boy, sir,
I saw before me lie;
Had ventured here to die.
I crossed the stream once more, sir,
To see why Bill warn't by;
But a film was o'er his eye.
"BLESSED ARE THE DEAD."—Rev. C. F. Smarius.
|A brief extract from an eloquent funeral oration on William H. Bissell, lata
Governor of Illinois.]
"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."—Apoc. xiT. 13.
Fellow-citizens: Were I to echo the plaintive murmurs of the immense multitude by which I am surrounded on this solemn and impressive occasion, were I to answer sigh for sigh and sob for sob, as they come from the feeling hearts of the sympathizing friends and relatives of the illustrious departed, whose earthly remains lie enshrined within the tabernacle of death before me, I should have to choose another text than that which I have selected for this well-deserved, but, alas! imperfect, tribute of gratitude and love to the memory of W. H. Bissell, the late governor of your flourishing State. For, considering that the urn of grief has been opened, and that it is fast being filled with the tears of respect and admiration, mixed with friendship and with love —considering that a whole State, nay,(^« nation, stand weeping over a loss which they cannot immediately, perhaps never again, repair—I should, consulting your natural feelings alone, find myself obliged to exclaim in the language of seeming despondency, as did the king of Amalek in the days of yore, " Doth bitter death separate in this manner?" or in the equally melancholy expression of inconsolable grief, "Oh death, how bitter is thy memory!" But when I reflect on the peculiar circumstances in which I find myself placed before this wreck of earthly greatness, and in the midst of this scene of man's extreme littleness, the sepulchres of all the departed, I am forced to change the key-note of unavailing sorrow into the sounds of buoyant joy, and to cry out with the angel of the Apocalyptic vision, " Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."
Yes, fellow-citizens, blessed the illustrious dead whose demise you deplore. Blessed the faithful soldier, the dauntless warrior, who in days gone by, when the honor of his country was at stake, when national insult was to be avenged, and foreign justice forced to an equipoise of her balance, drew his ready sword in defence of all her rights and in defiance ofall her boasting enemies—who girded himself with heroic courage and martyr fortitude for the battle, and modestly enjoyed the victories in which he had so large a share. Blessed, I repeat, is the faithful warrior, the dauntless hero, who, when his hour was come, yielded himself a calm, a nobly-resigned captive into the hands of that ingenious conqueror of our race, whose resistless power strikes with the same unsparing force against the marble palaces of the great, as it does against the thatched shanty of the lowlier and lessfavored subject. Blessed be the dead, who, like Governor Bissell, after having legislated for others, are willing to fold up the scroll of laws, which, as the representatives of their nations, they had the happiness to make or approve for the prosperity of their constituents, and to submit themselves, without repining, to a higher law and a higher lawgiver, whose stern decree was issued into this world under the shade of the beautiful and lovely trees of Paradise: "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return." Blessed the dead who, like his excellency, now levelled down to our commonalty, although once filling the hi^rh places of power, and seated, as it were, on the throne of relative sovereignty, are nevertheless willing, yea happy, to come down from those often dazzling heights and deceit ful thrones to obey the summons of a governor who ruleth not one State alone, but the heavens with all their magnificence, harmony, and beauty, and the earth with all her varied scenes and sceneries; yea, blessed are the dead who, like this great, this beloved man, die in the Lord.
Blessed the dead who die a death whose every circumstance but enhances the intellectual, moral, and political worth of the departed. Blessed the dead whose memory, like that of his excellency, the late governor, shall remain in benediction among his children, and their children's children throughout succeeding generations, because of the examples set them, at that impressive hour, of every domestic, parental, and Christian virtue.
Physicians! ye have lost a brother who graduated with honor in your schools. Teachers of youth! ye deplore a colaborer in the great work of educating future generations to usefulness, to honor and renown. Members of the bar! ye have come to weep over a man of your distinguished profession, whose sterling integrity was above all suspicion, while his talents for debate were almost above competition. Soldiers! your brave hearts sympathize with a captain and a colonel whose bravery is as immortal as the memory of Buena Vista. Legislators! you gaze upon the countenance of a departed brother, whose services in the council and the chamber of state you regarded as worthy of your admiration. In fine, magistrates and rulers of the land ! your tears flowover the grave of an officer of state, who teaches you in death what is the common lot of all—of t he great and the little, of the ruler and the ruled. Loving children of a loving father! the source of your filial happiness lies here, suddenly dried up before its time,—and the staff of your advancing years, bereaved widow! lies broken by your side.
Yet, with all these ruins so sadly strewn around me, with all these hopes so prematurely blasted, I repeat once more, blessed is the illustrious dead whose mortality we deplore—blessed, because he died in the Lord.
NEW "OLD MOTHER HUBBARD."
"01c1 Mother Hubbard, she went to the cupboard,
To get her pour dug a bone,
And so the pour dog had none."
The aged and venerable maternal representative of a family which descended from an ancestral progenitor known in his time by the patronymic appellation of Hubbard (perhaps from his having been one of the early poets or bards of the hub), wended her way to the small apartment ordinarily devoted to the storage of crockery, and such portions of the family provisions as were left unused at the prandial meal.
To obtain for the gratification of her favorite but emaciated specimen of the genus canis, a fragment of an osseous nature once composing an integral portion of the skeleton of an animal (whether bovine, porcine, or otherwise, the narrator was not able to determine satisfactorily), from which she had reason to believe her petted quadruped would aliment.
When by continuous progressive motion she had arrived at the end of her brief journey and in fact had reached the objective point, and the goal of her desire, her fond anticipations were not realized, and her calculations came to naught; for the family receptacle, before alluded to, proved to be entirely denuded of everything in the way of that sustenance which tends to prolong life when received within and assimilated by the animal organism.
Consequently this indignant and long-suffering member of the high class of vertebrata called mammals, but familiarly known as the " poor dog," failed on this occasion to obtain anything to appease his unsated an<f voracious ap< petite which we have reason to believe, had previously been whetted by the anticipation of the favorable result of the visit of his friend and protector to the usual store' house of his supplies.
THE HEBREW MOTHER.—Mrs. Hemans.
The rose was rich in bloom on Sharon's plain,
Met her sweet serious glance, rejoiced to think
That aught so pure, so beautiful, was hers,
To bring before her trod. So passed they on,
O'er Judah's hills; and wheresoe'er the leaves
Of the broad sycamore made sounds at noon,
Like lulling ram-drops, or the olive-boughs,
With their cool dimness, crossed the sultry blue
Of Syria's heaven, she paused, that he might re6t:
Yet from her own meek eyelids chased the sleep
That weighed their dark fringe down, to sit and watch
The crimson deepening o'er his cheek's repose,
As at a red flower's heart.—And where a fount
Lay like a twilight-star midst palmy shades,
Making its banks green gems along the wild,
There too she lingered, from the diamond wave
Drawing bright water for his rosy lips,
And softly parting clusters of jet curls
To bathe his brow. At las. the Fane was reached,
The earth's one sanctuary—and rapture hushed
Her bosom, as before her, through the day,
It rose a mountain of white marble, steeped
In light, like floating gold. But when that hour
Waned to the farewell moment, when the boy
Lifted, through rainbow-gleaming tears, his eye
Beseechingly to hers, and half in fear
Turned from the white-robed priest, and round her arm
Clung as the ivy clings—the deep spring tide
Of nature then swelled high, and o'er her child
Bending, her soul broke forth, in mingled sounds
Of weeping and sad song.—" Alas," she cried,
"Alas! my boy, thy gentle grasp is on me,
And now fond thoughts arise,
How shall I hence depart?
"How the lone paths retrace where thou wert playing So late, along the mountains, at my side?
And I in joyous pride,
Beholding thee so fair!
"And oh! the home whence thy bright smile hath parted, Will it not seem its if the sunny day
Turned from its door away; While through its chambers wandering, weary-hearted, I languish for thy voice, which past me still
Went like a singing rill?