here falls upon it, soothing, yet sad,—a sentiment midway between joy and sorrow. How true is it, that, in the language of Wordsworth,—
In youth we love the darkling lawn,The Chinese, from the remotest antiquity, have adorned and decorated their grave-grounds with shrubs and sweet flowers, as places of popular resort. The Turks have their graveyards planted with trees, through which the sun looks in upon the turban stones of the faithful, and beneath which the relatives of the dead sit in cheerful converse through the long days of summer, in all the luxurious quiet and happy indifference of the indolent East. Most of the visitors whom I met at the Lowell cemetery wore cheerful faces; some sauntered laughingly along, apparently unaffected by the associations of the place; too full, perhaps, of life, and energy, and high hope to apply to themselves the stern and solemn lesson which is taught even by these flower-garlanded mounds. But, for myself, I confess that I am always awed by the presence of the dead. I cannot jest above the gravestone. My spirit is silenced and rebuked before the tremendous mystery of which the grave reminds me, and involuntarily pays
Brushed by the owlet's wing;
Then evening is preferred to dawn,
And autumn to the spring.
Sad fancies do we then affect,
In luxury of disrespect
To our own prodigal excess
Of too familiar happiness.
The deep reverence taught of old,
The homage of man's heart to death.