Shadow of death.
--We have rarely met with anything more beautiful than the following, which we find in an exchange paper:
Men seldom think of the great event of death until the dark shadow falls across their own path, hiding forever from their eyes the fact of the loved ones whose living smile was the sunshine of their existence.
Death is the great antagonism of life, and the cold thought of the tomb is the skeleton of all our feast.
We do not want to go through the dark valley, although its passage may lead to Paradise, and, with Charles Lamb
, we do not wish to He down in the mouldy grave, even with the kings and princes for our bedfellows.
But the fate of nature is inexorable.
There is no appeal or re- -prieve from the great law that dooms us all to dust.
We flourish and fade like the leaves of the forest, and the fairest flowers that bloom and wither in a day has not a frailer hold on life than the mightiest monarch that has ever shook the earth by his footsteps.
Generations of men appear and vanish like the grass, and the countless multitude that swells the world to-day will to-morrow disappear like the foot prints on the shore.
"Soon as the rising tide shall beat,
Each trace will vanish from the sand."
In the beautiful drama of Ion
the instinct of immortality so eloquently uttered by the death devoted Greek
finds a clear response in every thoughtful soul.
When about to yield his young existence as a sacrifice to Fate, his betrothed Clemente asks it they shall not meet again, to which he replies: "I have asked that dreadful question of the hills that look eternal; of the flowing streams that flow forever; of the stars, among whose fields of azure my raised spirit hath walked in glory — all were dumb.
But while I gaze upon thy living face I feel there's something in the love which mantles through its beauty that cannot wholly perish.
We shall meet again, Clemente."