This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
BY WILLIAM KNOX.
OH, why should the spirit of mortal be proud? Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-dying cloud, A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave, Man passes from life to his rest in the grave.
The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade, Be scattered around and together be laid; And the young and the old, and the low and the high, Shall moulder to dust and together shall lie.
The infant a mother attended and loved, The mother that infant's affection who proved; The husband that mother and infant who blessed, Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest.
The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye, Shone beauty and pleasure - her triumphs are by; And the memory of those who loved her and praised, Are alike from the minds of the living erased.
The peasant, whose lot was to sow and to reap; The herdsman, who climbed with his goats up the steep; The beggar, who wandered in search of his bread, Have faded away like the grass that we tread.
The saint who enjoyed the communion of heaven, The sinner who dared to remain unforgiven, The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just, Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.
So the multitude goes, like the flowers or the weed That withers away to let others succeed; So the multitude comes, even those we behold, To repeat every tale that has often been told.
For we are the same our fathers have been; We see the same sights our fathers have seen, - We drink the same stream and view the same sun, And run the same course our fathers have run.
The thoughts we are thinking our fathers would think, From the death we are shrinking our fathers would shrink To the life we are clinging they also would cling; But it speeds for us all, like a bird on the wing.
They loved, but the story we cannot unfold; They scorned, but the heart of the haughty is cold; They grieved, but no wail from their slumbers will come; They joyed, but the tongue of their gladness is dumb.
They died, aye! they died; and we things that are now, Who walk on the turf that lies over their brow, Who make in their dwellings a transient abode, Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road.
Yea! hope and despondency, pleasure and pain, We mingle together in sunshine and rain; And the smiles and the tears, the song and the dirge, Still follow each other, like surge upon surge.
'Tis the wink of an eye, 'tis the draught of a breath; From the blossom of health to the paleness of death, From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud, - Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?
"god's plans go on as best for you and me."
MAKE me no vows of constancy, dear friend,
To love me, though I die, thy whole life long, And love no other till thy days shall end, - Nay, it were rash and wrong.
If thou canst love another, be it so;
I would not reach out of my quiet grave To bind thy heart, if it should choose to go; -
Love should not be a slave.
My placid ghost, I trust, will walk serene
In clearer light than gilds these earthly morns.
Above the jealousies and envies keen, Which sow this life with thorns.
Thou wouldst not feel my shadowy caress, If, after death, my soul should linger here;
Men's hearts crave tangible, close .cenderness, Love*s presence, warm and near.
It would not make me sleep more peacefully That thou wert wasting all thy life in woe
For my poor sake; what love thou hast for me, Bestow it ere I go!
Carve not upon a stone when I am dead The praises which remorseful mourners give
To women's graves - a tardy recompense - But speak them while I live.
Heap not the heavy marble on my head To shut away the sunshine and the dew;
Let small blooms grow there, and let grasses wave, And rain- drops filter through.
Thou wilt meet many fairer and more gay Than I; but, trust me, thou canst never find
One who will love and serve thee night and day With a more single mind.
Forget me when I die! The violets Above my rest will blossom just as blue,
Nor miss thy tears; e'en nature's self forgets; But while I live, be true!