The blue waves rolled on, in their untiring way, and the sun went calmly down upon this day,—the twenty-seventh of September, eighteen hundred and fifty-four,—a day long to be remembered, both in the Eastern and Western world, for in it was the sundering of many mortal ties. Many a family circle wept as they looked upon the familiar places, which would know their lost ones no more; but ah, chide me not, kind reader, in thus leading you adown to the coldness of death, in setting before you that which causes your tender heart to shudder. Mourn not for these departed; for would we not wish to meet them there, when, ere long, this mortal shall have put on immortality? Grieve not because that gentle one has passed away! say not that she met with an untimely end, when in her summer of life all was pleasantness before her. Think of her not as one gone far away, never to be on earth more; cast her not from your heart, where, during her little day here, in innocence she entwined herself within its recesses. Oh, no, for she is nearer to us now; she is not dead, but has passed from death to life; and may her memory remain with us, in freshness as the ivy green, which loves best the churchyard’s place of holy quietude,—and by her influence may we in spirit come to be more Christ-like.
“Shall I not listen to the sea-shell’s
That strangely vibrates like the swelling sea,
And fancy it an echoed storm, intoning
A solemn dirge in memory of thee?”
MISS MARY M. CHASE.
A lone man walks the shores of Nantucket; his noble form is slightly bent, and with the raven of his hair is blended the faintest tinge of gray, though he is evidently a man to whom the meridian of life is yet far in the distance; his fine countenance is sad, yet as he gazes far out o’er the sea, deep in his piercing eye is a subdued look of resignation, shedding light over his features, which a stranger might attribute to a mind of happiness; and yet that look of sadness is oftenest triumphant, leading those who meet him for the first time to ask from whence he came, for his countenance betrays that his has been not the common lot of man. Ah, who is he,—on whom young men and maidens look with pitying eye? to whom the old man lifts his hat, and little children cease from their sports as he passes, and quietly slip the innocent daisy, or the sweet-scented arbutus into his hand, which they have culled from the wide commons, where, they have been told, the good Sea-flower loved to stray.