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Amid the mighty wrecks that strew his path,
Upon the fearful ruin he has wrought. GEORGE D. PRENTICE was born at Preston, in Connecticut, December 18th, 1802, and was educated at Brown University, in Providence, where he graduated in 1823. In 1828 he commenced "The New England Weekly Review," at Hartford, which he edited for two years, when, resigning its management to Mr. Whittier, he removed to Louisville, Kentucky, where he has since conducted the "Journal," of that city, one of the most popular gazettes ever published in this country. His numerous poetical writings have never been published collectively.
130. OUR HONORED DEAD.
OW bright are the honors which await those who with sacred fortitude and patriot'ic patience have endured all things that they might save their native land from division and from the power of corruption! The honored dead! They that die for a good cause are redeemed from death. Their names are gathered and garnered. Their memory is precious. Each place grows proud for them who were born there.
2. There is to be, ere long, in every village and in every neighborhood, a glowing pride in its martyred heroes. Tablets shall preserve their names. Pious love shall renew their inscriptions as time and the unfeeling elements decay them. And the national festivals shall give multitudes of precious names to the orator's lips. Children shall grow up under more sacred inspirations, whose elder brothers, dying nobly for their country, left a name that honored and inspired all who bōre it. Orphan children shall find thousands of fathers and mothers to ove and help those whom dying heroes left as a legacy to the gratitude of the public.
3. Oh, tell me not that they are dead-that generous host, that airy army of invisible heroes! They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation. Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society, and inspire the people with nobler motives and more heroic patriotism?
4. Ye that mourn, let gladnèss mingle with your tears. He was your son; but now he is the nation's. He made your
household bright: now his example inspires a thousand households. Dear to his brothers and sisters, he is now brother to every generous youth in the land. Before he was narrowed, appropriated, shut up to you. Now he is augmented, set free, and given to all. He has died from the family, that he might live to the nation. Not one name shall be forgotten or neglected; and it shall by-and-by be confessed, as of an ancient hero, that he did more for his country by his death than by his whole life.
5. Neither are they less honored who shall bear through life the marks of wounds and sufferings. Neither ĕp'aulette nor badge is so honorable as wounds received in a good cause. Many a man shall envy him who henceforth limps. So strange is the transforming power of patriotic ardor, that men shall almost covet disfigurement. Crowds will give way to hobbling cripples, and uncover in the presence of feebleness and helplessness. And buoyant children shall pause in their noisy games, and with loving reverence honor them whose hands can work no more, and whose feet are no longer able to march except upon that journey which brings good men to honor and immortality.
6. O mother of lost children! set not in darkness nor sorrow whom a nation honors. O mourners of the early dead! they shall live again, and live forever. Your sorrows are our gladness. The nation lives, because you gave it men that loved it better than their own lives. And when a few more days shall have cleared the perils from around the nation's brow, and she shall sit in unsullied garments of liberty, with justice upon her forehead, love in her eyes, and truth upon her lips, she shall not forget those whose blood gave vital currents to her heart, and whose life, given to her, shall live with her life till time shall be no more.
7. Every mountain and hill shall have its treasured name, every river shall keep some solemn title, every valley and every lake shall cherish its honored register; and till the mountainare worn out, and the rivers forget to flow, till the clouds are weary of replenishing springs, and the springs forget to gush, and the rills to sing, shall their names be kept fresh with reverent honors, which are inscribed upon the book of National Remembrance! H. W. BEECHER.
131. THE HOLY DEAD.
HEY dread no storm that lowers,
No change upon their brow;
2. Who are so greatly blest?
From whom hath sorrow fled?
Above yon sable bier?
Thrice blessed! they have done with woe,
3. Go to their sleeping bowers,
Deck their low couch of clay
With earliëst spring's soft breathing flowers;
Think of the amăranth'ine wreath,
The garlands never dim,
And tell me why thou fly'st from death,
4. We dream, but they awake;
For spirits round the Eternal Throne
They are the living, they alone,
MRS. L. H. SIGOURNEY was born at Norwich, Connecticut, 1791. Her maiden name was Lydia Huntley. She was married to Charles Sigourney in 1819. She is one of the most voluminous of American female writers, and equally happy in prose and verse. Her rare and highly cultivated intellect, her fine sensibilities, and her noble heart, have enabled her, in all her works, to plead successfully the cause of humanity and religion. She died at Hartford, Ct., June 10th, 1865.
132. DEATH OF THE OLD TRAPPER.
HE trapper was placed on a rude seat, which had been made with studied care, to support his frame in an upright and easy attitude. The first glance of the eye told his former friends that the old man was at length called upon to pay the last tribute of nature. His eye was glazed, and apparently as devoid of sight as of expression. His features were a little mōre sunken and strongly marked than formerly; but there, all change, so far as exterior was concerned, might be said to have ceased.
2. His approaching end was not to be ascribed to any positive disease, but had been a gradual and mild decay of the physical powers. Life, it is true, still lingered in his system; but it was as if at times entirely ready to depart, and then it would appear to reanimate the sinking form, reluctant to give up the possession of a tenement that had never been corrupted by vice or undermined by disease. It would have been no violent fancy to have imagined that the spirit fluttered about the plăcid lips of the old woodsman, reluctant to depart from a shell that had so long given it an honest and honorable shelter.
3. His body was placed so as to let the light of the setting sun fall full upon the solemn features. His head was bare, the long, thin locks of gray fluttering lightly in the evening breeze. His rifle lay upon his knee, and the other accouterments of the chase were placed at his side, within reach of his hand. Between his feet lay the figure of a hound, with its head crouching to the earth, as if it slumbered; and so perfectly easy and natural was its position, that a second glance was necessary to tell Middleton he saw only the skin of Hector, stuffed, by Indian tenderness and ingenuity, in a manner to represent the living animal.
4. The old man was reaping the rewards of a life remarkable for temperance and activity, in a tranquil and placid death. His vigor, in a manner, endured to the very last. Decay, when it did occur, was rapid, but free from pain. He had hunted with the tribe in the spring, and even throughout most of the
summer; when his limbs suddenly refused to perform their customary offices. A sympathizing weakness took possession of all his faculties; and the Pawnees believed they were going to lose, in this unexpected manner, a sage and counsellor whom they had begun both to love and respect.
5. But, as we have already said, the immortal occupant seemed unwilling to desert its tenement. The lamp of life flickered, without becoming extinguished. On the morning of the day on which Middleton arrived, there was a general reviving of the powers of the whole man. His tongue was again heard in wholesome maxims, and his eye from time to time recognized the persons of his friends. It merely proved to be a brief and final intercourse with the world, on the part of one who had already been considered, as to mental communion, to have taken its leave of it forever.
5. When he had placed his guests in front of the dying man, Hard-Heart, after a pause, that proceeded as much from sorrow as decorum, leaned a little forward, and demanded—“Does my father hear the words of his son?” 'Speak," returned the trapper, in tones that issued from his chest, but which were rendered awfully distinct by the stillness that reigned in the place. "I am about to depart from the village of the Loups, and shortly shall be beyond the reach of your voice."
7. " Let the wise chief have no cares for his journey," continued Hard-Heart, with an carnèst solicitude that led him to forget, for the moment, that others were waiting to address his adopted parent; "a hundred Loups shall clear his path from briers." "Pawnee, I die, as I have lived, a Christian man!" resumed the trapper, with a force of voice that had the same startling effect on his hearers as is produced by the trumpet, when its blast rises suddenly and freely on the air, after its obstructed sounds have been heard struggling in the distance: "as I came unto life so will I leave it. Horses and arms are not needed to stand in the presence of the Great Spirit of my people. He knows my color, and according to my gifts will he judge my deeds."
8. "My father will tell my young men how many Mingoes he has struck, and what acts of valor and justice he has done, that they may know how to imitate him." "A boastful tongue is not heard in the heaven of a white man!" solemnly returned