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of old penmanship, Patient as Belzoni there Sorting out, with loving care, Mummies of dead questions stripped From their sevenfold manuscript! Dabbling, in their noisy way, In the puddles of to-day, Little know they of that vast Solemn ocean of the past, On whose margin, wreck-bespread, Thou art walking with the dead, Questioning the stranded years, Waking smiles, by turns, and tears, As thou callest up again Shapes the dust has long o'erlain,— Fair-haired woman, bearded man, Cavalier and Puritan; In an age whose eager view Seeks but present things, and new, Mad for party, sect and gold, Teaching reverence for the old. On that shore, with fowler's tact, Coolly bagging fact on fact, Naught amiss to thee can float, Tale, or song, or anecdote; Village gossip, centuries old, Scandals by our grandams told, What the pilgrim's table spread, Where he lived, and whom he wed, Long-drawn bill of wine and beer For his ordination cheer, Or the flip that wellnigh made Glad his funeral cavalcade
simple record I have pondered o'er With deep and quiet joy. And hence this scene, in sunset glory warm,— Its woods around, Its still stream winding on in light and shade, Its soft, green meadows and its upland glade,— To me is holy ground. And dearer far than haunts where Genius keeps His vigils still; Than that where Avon's son of song is laid, Or Vaucluse hallowed by its Petrarch's shade, Or Virgil's laurelled hill. To the gray walls of fallen Paraclete, To Juliet's urn, Fair Arno and Sorrento's orange-grove, Where Tasso sang, let young Romance and Love Like brother pilgrims turn. But here a deeper and serener charm To all is given; And blessed memories of the faithful dead O'er wood and vale and meadow-stream have shed The holy hues of Heaven!
Gone. another hand is beckoning us, Another call is given; And glows once more with Angel-steps The path which reaches Heaven. Our young and gentle friend, whose smile Made brighter summer hours, Amid the frosts of autumn ti