Town and Country; or, life at home and abroad, without and within us eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 420 pages of information about Town and Country; or, life at home and abroad, without and within us.

Thus she talked for some time.

Having rendered such assistance as I could, I left.  The next day there was a funeral, and little Nelly was what they called “the chief mourner;” yet it seemed a very inappropriate name for one whose sorrow was so cheerful.  There were but few of us who followed; and, when we reached the grave, and the face of the earthly form was exposed to the sunlight for the last time, little Nelly sung the following lines, which I had hastily penned for the occasion: 


    Dry our tears and wipe our eyes! 
    Angel friends beyond the skies
    Open wide heaven’s shining portal,
    Welcome us to joys immortal. 
    Fear not, weep not, ours the boon;
    We shall all be happy soon! 
    Hark! a voice is whispering near us;
    ’T is an angel-voice to cheer us;
    It entreats us not to weep,
    Fresh and green our souls to keep;
    And it sings, in cheerful tune,
    We shall all be happy soon. 
    Thus through life, though grief and care
    May be given us to bear,
    Though all dense and dark the cloud
    That our weary forms enshroud,
    Night will pass, and come the noon,
    We shall all be happy soon.

When the last line of each verse was sung, it was no fancy thought in us, in Nelly more than all others, that suggested the union of other voices with our own; neither was it an illusion that pictured a great thing with harps, repeating the words, “We shall all be happy soon.”

The sexton even, he who was so used to grave-yard scenes, was doubly interested; and, when the last look was taken, and Nelly seemed to look less in the dark grave and more up to the bright sky above her than those in her situation usually do, I saw him watch her, and a tear trickled down his wrinkled face.

As we turned to leave, I asked him why he wept.  His features brightened up.  “For joy, for joy,” said he.  “I have put away the dead here for forty long years; but I never beheld so happy a burial as this.  It seems as though the angels were with that child.  She looks so heavenly.”

Perhaps they were.  And why say “perhaps”?  Do we not know they are ever round us, and very near to such a one as Nelly, at such a time?


    When we muse o’er days departed,
        Lights that shone but shine no more,
    Friends of ours who long since started
        O’er the sea without a shore;
    Journeying on and journeying ever,
        Their freed spirits wing their flight,
    Ceasing in their progress never
        Towards the fountain-head of light;
    Oft we wish that they were near us,—­
        We might see the friends we love,—­
    Then there come these words to cheer us,
    “Ye shall meet them all above.” 

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Town and Country; or, life at home and abroad, without and within us from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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