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such tokens of remembrance might be felt by the dead: they could do no harm; there would be nothing offensive in them; and whether the spirits of the departed are near to us or afar off, will, whilst we are mortal, be to us a mystery. In the dewy evening and all night long they would be there,

“In the early dawn of morning, ere the summer's sun did shine, Before the red-cock crowed from the farm upon the hill, When we were warm asleep, and all the world was still.”


It is surely a more poetical thought, and attended with less inconvenience than that of the ancients, who kept lamps burning in their sepulchres, and liberated their slaves, on the conditions that they should watch, month for month, in those silent chambers of the dead, their sole occupation to feed the vessels with oil, and see that the flame was never extinguished. Ours would be a memorial, fed and kept alive by an invisible hand, rooted in affection, and watered with tears, which, when they fell not, would have the dew and showers for mourners, and a thousand ministering spirits, that are undreamed of in our philosophy.

How beautifully does Milton give utterance to his feelings, when he calls upon the vales, to cast

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“ Their bells, and flowerets of a thousand hues,”

upon the tomb of his beloved Lycidas! It seems as if it would have comforted the poet, to have had the body of his friend in a grave, covered with flowers, so “to interpose a little ease.”

Alas! for him, not us, the body he mourned over,

“The shores and sounding seas washed far away,
Along the bottom of the monstrous world.”

Milton lost his friend ; and as he had not even the corse to weep over, he erected to his memory a monument in verse, one which will outlive all marble or brass, and which Time can never decay. How finely does he allude to the resurrection in the following lines !

“ Weep no more ;
For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor;
So sinks the day-star in the ocean-bed,
And yet anon uprears his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky;
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high.”

And Manoab


he will build Samson

A monument, and plant it round the shade,

Of laurel ever-green, and branching palm :-
The virgins also shall on feastful days
Visit his tomb with flowers."


The old poets abound in beautiful passages, full to overbrimming of love for the flowers, and teeming with sweet and sorrowful allusions to death. Their gentle hearts clung to these lovely “ daughters of the earth and sun;" they became messengers, bearing mysterious meanings, carrying images from the eye to the heart, and ever hinting of old undated affections, of a world which in the beginning was filled only with love. They traced in the flowers fanciful remembrances of fond passions—likenesses of what they loved, faint and spiritual, yet not the less beautiful, and cherished the more, since the originals were lost, investing them with every virtue that inhabits heaven. Nor ought these ancient emblems to be misinterpreted by us:

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what the older poets did, they had good authority for doing; for our English flowers were christened at grey old Saxon fonts, and in them the early fathers of the church found many a holy meaning.

The graves of truly great men we would not care to see covered with flowers : it may be but fancy, but the solemn name, and the solid monument, with the remembrance of the mighty dead, who repose beneath, we would fain see plain, massy, and impressive; for such are “death's noblest ruins.” But the tombs, within which are laid all that was once youthful, innocent, lovely, and beautiful, should grow green, “with sweet memories ;” and though within “ death kept his court,” that faith, which has already unloosed his prisoners, should be expressed in the eyes of flowers, which look up from earth to heaven; for our hope lies in the land of light. If

“ The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures," why should they be placed only in black and hideous frames? One awakens again perchance to the “ fever and the fret" of this world, the other to “ life everlasting." Let us endeavour to divest Death of the terrors imagination has clothed him in, and instead of " a lean abhorred monster,” look upon him as some friendly angel, sent to conduct us to a happier home in another world. To an intellectual mind, a grave planted with flowers kindles many an expiring thought; it is as if Grief, instead of bend. ing motionless over the dull grey ashes she guards, rose up and fanned them for the moment into a feeble glow. Shadows numberless rise up around us, the land of death is peopled with dim forms, our mental vision sees through time and space, and we catch glimpses of old immortalities. We saw one grave “ ankle deep

ankle deep" in flowers, which seemed to look cheerfully up to the tombstone inscribed “ To the

memory of the once beautiful Juliet ;" and we thought of Shakspere's Juliet, on whom death lies

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“ like an untimely frost, Upon the sweetest flower of all the field;" of him who yet lived to sorrow over her, and often came, exclaiming,

“ Sweet flower, with flowers I strew thy bridal bed.” We saw another grave which an affectionate daughter had planted with violets : it was to the memory of her father ; the flowers were fading, for spring was fast verging into summer; but they recalled Ophelia, with her wild snatches of sweet song, as she once was happy and light-hearted as a bird, before her violets had “withered all when her poo father died.” We thought of Cordelia and Lear, and fancied somehow that her « voice was ever low and sweet.”

Another pointed out where beauty slept, cut down like a rose in full bloom; and we thought of that exquisite passage, lamenting that the queen of flowers should so soon perish,

" Alas ! that it is so,

To die, even when it to perfection grew;" then the image of the gentlé Viola came before us, she “ who never told her love,” calling up the whole of that matchless description, as if we had heard her own soft voice utter it, in tones surpassing the music of the sweetest silver bells. Thanks to the hand that planted that grave

with roses, it brought back Shakspere and Viola. Nor could we forget the stately Katherine, “who, although unqueened," pale and broken-hearted, stalked before us in the likeness of Siddons, “every inch a queen," and said,

“ When I am dead, strew me over

With maiden flowers, that all the world may know
I was a chaste wife to my grave.”


In the very sound of the surrounding trees, we seemed to catch whispers that came from a far-off land, notes sweetly mournful, that reach the ear unaware, making us doubt whether they linger in the air, or are freed from the prisonhouse of memory, by some unseen power; they recalled solemn dirges chanted in old cathedrals ; voices which fancy hears in dreams, the ringing hymn, that called up Imogen, she, whose veins were like “the azured air-bell,” whose breath“ outsweetened the eglantine,” and we again heard that cave-echoed chorus bidding the dead,

“Fear no more the lightning flash,

Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash,

Thou hast suffered joy and moan,
All lovers young, all lovers must

Consign to thee, and come to dust." Flowers become sacred objects when planted upon a grave; in our minds they are allied in some mysterious manner to the dead, for death has hallowed the soil they grow upon. The woodbine no longer becomes the honeysuckle of the wild waste, when affection has planted it above the dead; were we even allowed to pluck it, and bear home its blossoms, they would in our mind call up images very different to those which arise from the same flowers gathered in the trailing paths of a wood. The wall-flower, that old inhabitant of solitary ruins, which we meet on abbeys and castles unroofed by time and war, is a sweet and fitting representative of death; while the heath which gives such life and beauty to the most lonely and out-of-the-way places, has a strange, solemn, and solitary look when grown upon a grave. The marigold is an old emblem of grief, it has furnished our poets with many beautiful images, from its turning to the sun morning and evening, and drooping its head and folding itself up during the hours of night. We could

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