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the loss of his mental faculties like Southey, Scott, Wilson, Lockhart, and the Ettrick Shepherd, who all suffered from softening of the brain, and mentioned his hope that he should be permitted to complete his translation of Homer before death or mental imbecility, with a failure of physical strength, should overtake him. On another occasion he said, “If I am worthy, I would wish for sudden death, with no interregnum between I cease to exercise reason and I cease to exist." In these wishes he was happily gratified, as well as in the time of his being laid away to his final rest, as expressed in the following beautiful and characteristic lines to JUNE :
WTTRANCO Neusongw. TAKEALOuXAU
“I gazed upon the glorious sky,
And the green mountains round,
At rest within the ground,
And groves a cheerful sound,
66 A cell within the frozen mould,
A coffin borne through sleet,
While fierce the tempests beat-
Earth green beneath the feet,
It was indeed a glorious day, and the daisies were dancing and glimmering over the fields as the poet's family, a few old friends, and the villagers saw him laid in his last resting-place at Roslyn, after a few words fitly spoken by his pastor, and beheld his coffin covered with roses and other summer flowers by a little band of country children, who gently dropped them as they circled round the poet's grave. This act completed, we left the aged minstrel amid the melody dearest of all to him in life—the music of the gentle June breezes murmuring through the tree-tops, from whence also came the songs of summer birds.
The following, from the pen of Paul H. Hayne, of South Carolina, is one of the many tributes to Mr. Bryant's character and genius, that have appeared since the
dard, Street, Symington (a Scottish singer), and many others :
“Lo! there he lies, our Patriarch Poet, dead!
The solemn angel of eternal peace
Touched his strong heart, and bade his pulses cease.
“Behold, in marble quietude he lies !
Pallid and cold, divorced from earthly breath,
Yet the closed lips would seem to smile at death.
“Well may they smile ; for death, to such as he,
Brings purer freedom, loftier thought and aim;
Lifts to song's fadeless heaven his star-like fame !"
I can not forbear adding to this expression of appreciative affection a few words from the funeral address uttered by his pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bellows, at the commemorative ceremony held in New York, on the 14th of June, at All Souls' Church, of which Mr. Bryant was for the last fifteen years of his life an active and honored member. Dr. Bellows said :
“Never, perhaps, was there an instance of such precocity in point of wisdom and maturity as that which marked "Thanatopsis,' written at eighteen, or of such persistency in judgment, force, and melody as that exhibited in his last public ode, written at eighty-three, on occasion of Washington's last birthday. Between these two bounds lies one even path, high, finished, faultless, in which comes a succession of poems, always meditative, always steeped in the love and knowledge of nature, always pure and melodious, always stamped with his sign manual of faultless taste and gem-like purity. ...
"A devoted lover of religious liberty, he was an equal lover of religion itself-not in any precise dogmatic form, but in its righteousness, reverence, and charity. . . .
“It is the glory of this man that his character outshone even his great talent and his large fame. Distinguished equally for his native gifts and his consummate culture, his poetic inspiration and his exquisite art, he is honored and loved to-day even more for his stainless purity of life, his unswerving rectitude of will, his devotion to the higher interests of his race, his unfeigned patriotism, and his broad humanity. ...
“The increasing sweetness and beneficence of his character, meanwhile, must have struck his familiar friends. His last years were his devoutest and most humane years. He became beneficent as he grew able to be so, and his hand was open to all just needs and to many unreasonable claimants."
No more appropriate concluding paragraph can be added to this memorial paper, which I could wish worthier of the good and gifted Bryant-Integer vitæ scelerisque purus—than his own beautiful words, applied to his contemporary Washington Irving. “If it were becoming,” said the poet, “ to address our departed friend as if in his immediate presence, I would say, "Farewell, thou who hast entered into the rest prepared from the foundation of the world for serene and gentle spirits like thine. Farewell, happy in thy life, happy in thy death, happier in the reward to which that death is the assured passage ; fortunate in attracting the admiration of the world to thy beautiful writings ; still more fortunate in having written nothing which did not tend to promote the reign of magnanimous forbearance and generous sympathies among thy fellow-men. The brightness of that enduring fame which thou hast won on earth is but a shadowy symbol of the glory to which thou art admitted in the world beyond the grave. Thy errand on earth was an errand of peace and good-will to men, and thou art now in a region where hatred and strife never enter, and where the harmonious activity of those who inhabit it acknowledges no impulse less noble or less pure than love."
JAMES GRANT Wilson. NEW YORK, July, 1878.