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[210]

The old man's funeral.

William C. Bryant.
I saw an aged man upon his bier:
His hair was thin and white, and on his brow
A record of the cares of many a year;--
Cares that were ended and forgotten now.
And there was sadness round, and faces bowed,
And women's tears fell fast, and children wailed aloud.

Then rose another hoary man, and said,
In faltering accents, to that weeping train,
“Why mourn ye that our aged friend is dead?
Ye are not sad to see the gathered grain,
Nor when their mellow fruit the orchards cast,
Nor when the yellow woods shake down the ripened mast.

“Ye sigh not when the sun, his course fulfilled,--
His glorious course, rejoicing earth and sky,--
In the soft evening, when the winds are stilled,
Sinks where the islands of refreshment lie,
And leaves the smile of his departure, spread
O'er the warm-colored heaven and ruddy mountain-head.

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