The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories.

Good little girls always show marked deference for the aged.  You ought never to “sass” old people unless they “sass” you first.

POST-MORTEM POETRY [1]

In Philadelphia they have a custom which it would be pleasant to see adopted throughout the land.  It is that of appending to published death-notices a little verse or two of comforting poetry.  Any one who is in the habit of reading the daily Philadelphia Ledger must frequently be touched by these plaintive tributes to extinguished worth.  In Philadelphia, the departure of a child is a circumstance which is not more surely followed by a burial than by the accustomed solacing poesy in the public Ledger.  In that city death loses half its terror because the knowledge of its presence comes thus disguised in the sweet drapery of verse.  For instance, in a late Ledger I find the following (I change the surname): 

DIED

Hawks.—­On the 17th inst., Clara, the daughter of Ephraim and Laura Hawks, aged 21 months and 2 days.

     That merry shout no more I hear,
     No laughing child I see,
     No little arms are around my neck,
     No feet upon my knee;

     No kisses drop upon my cheek,
     These lips are sealed to me. 
     Dear Lord, how could I give Clara up
     To any but to Thee?

A child thus mourned could not die wholly discontented.  From the Ledger of the same date I make the following extract, merely changing the surname, as before: 

Becket.—­On Sunday morning, 19th inst., John P., infant son of George and Julia Becket, aged 1 year, 6 months, and 15 days.

     That merry shout no more I hear,
     No laughing child I see,
     No little arms are round my neck,
     No feet upon my knee;

     No kisses drop upon my cheek;
     These lips are sealed to me. 
     Dear Lord, how could I give Johnnie up
     To any but to Thee?

The similarity of the emotions as produced in the mourners in these two instances is remarkably evidenced by the singular similarity of thought which they experienced, and the surprising coincidence of language used by them to give it expression.

In the same journal, of the same date, I find the following (surname suppressed, as before): 

Wagner.—­On the 10th inst., Ferguson G., the son of William L. and Martha Theresa Wagner, aged 4 weeks and 1 day.

     That merry shout no more I hear,
     No laughing child I see,
     No little arms are round my neck,
     No feet upon my knee;

     No kisses drop upon my cheek,
     These lips are sealed to me. 
     Dear Lord, how could I give Ferguson up
     To any but to Thee?

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The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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