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Destroyer shall lay his palsying hand upon that silvered brow of thine !
Farewell to you, respected Instructors, (to the Professors.) Yet we come not to-day with high encomium ; the verdict of our reciprocal duties rests with the tribunal of the worldthe Future. May Heaven grant that your efforts prove as successful, as your intentions have been upright.
There are others here to-day, to whom (the lower classes,) I would gladly speak a parting word. Brothers by one, two, and three years of fellowship :—Though our associations and pursuits have led us apart, yet these sacred seats and your familiar faces have united us by too strong a bond to be rudely severed. Aye, we would hallow this parting scene by fond recollections of even our kinsmen in letters; and gladly will we welcome you, whenever and wherever we may meet upon the great field of American Learning-learning as synonymous with the high and ennobling advocacy of Truth.
MY CLASSMATES :
Roll back the tide of recollections, and let them rest a moment on the hour when we first crossed yonder threshold ; when these faces now so familiar, were strange looks. But -other smiles lit up this sacred temple ; other feet trode these aisles; other voices rang amid these columns to the choral anthem ; and now, of all who sat under the teachings of this venerable altar—of all who then shook those olden buildings with their merry-hearted laughter, only our little century remains !
“ Some are dead, and some are gone,
And now we go forth. And yet not as we were. Four years have made us the masters of a holy boon ; four years have laid a chilling hand on the merry heart of the boy, and on youth have graven a seam of age; four years have strown new faces in this group, and scattered many to the world ; four years have laid some in their graves! Yes, there was one who thought to stand at this solemn hour beside you, and bid you all adieu ; alas! he bid you his farewell two score of months ago! A year he walked beside us with expectations high as ours ;-long since in his silent chamber the scarlet of a fevered brow o'er-reddened the flush of his hope. The buoyancy of youth bore him long above his pain; right manfully he mocked his fears; and ever and anon, as his face brightened with a fancied triumph, he reached out and grasped with a fearful energy at the untold scenes of delirious hope. But ah, his mind relaxed with those repeated efforts
-imagination at length grew weary-reason fainted—hope expired. Oh, had you seen then the agonized brow—the trembling lip, would they not, may they not have taught you a lesson ? Death came again—and Hubbell, a stranger, passed away—a stranger—to a strange land! There was another who toiled with us for learning-much vaunted learning. He and his learning lie sepulchred together. Walk yonder once again over the turf of his gravel-bed, and think “ what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue !" There was yet another with an arm sinewy as any of you all, and an iron frame ; long and hard he wrestled with Death, till the Destroyer pressed his gripe upon the very seat of life, and poor Banks yielded without a struggle more !
Four years more, and the epitaphs of many before me may be written; but while we do live, may we live to some purpose. Take courage on the outset of life ; make high resolves ; be not overawed by danger or by difficulty ; for difficulty we shall meet. However much the golden eye of
Ambition may gild the breaking edges of the cloud-curtained future, we shall have struggles. Misfortune may lay a heavy hand on some of you, before a year rolls round ;—yet
The hour is past; and I close with the last—the fondest wish of my heart
“So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, that moves
THOUGHTS AT PARTING.
BY R. S. WILLIS.
Chorus. Well-our years, like transient dreams,
All have glided by,
A silent company.
TIME. Yes, your years, like transient dreams, .
All have glided by,
A silent company.
Ne'er returns again!
Chorus. But those days, and months, and hours,
Tell us, where are they ?
They seem’d, but yesterday !
Ne'er a dream beyond !
TIME. Fled forever-with your years,
Fled those days and hours;
Gather'd all their flowers !
Ne'er in life again!
CHORUS. First to us these moments now
Seem“ farewell” to say,
First we feel to-day!
Spirits once that swellid our ranks,
Meet us not to-day;
Tell us, where are they?
While we linger on!
TIME. Few that entered first the race
Reach the goal to-day !
I've slain upon the way.
On, mortals, on!