Page:Female Prose Writers of America.djvu/171

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149
MARY S. B. SHINDLER

the dead are with us, more potently and beneficially than they were in life, thy sorrow would be turned into a pensive joy, creating within thee and around thee precious and purifying influences!

I pass by the splendid monuments which attract the attention of every stranger, to mention one which arrested my footsteps by its exceeding simplicity and beauty. It was a plain white marble shaft, upon which was inscribed one single word, and that was “Mary.” I always loved the name, but was never before so struck with its unpretending beauty. It was the name of the virgin-mother of our Lord, it was the name of her whom Jesus loved, and of the erring one whose pardon he pronounced so graciously. And here it was, to designate the resting-place of a youthful wife who had but recently departed to her eternal home. What a world of meaning must that one word convey to the bereaved husband, when, solitary as he must be now, his lonely footsteps seek that sacred spot! Let me tell thee, sorrowing husband, thy Mary is not lost to thee, she has but “gone before;” and if thou hearest and heedest well the voice which issues from that marble tablet, it shall be well with thee! They never can be lost to us, whose memories we love!

Here lie thine ashes, dearest Mary!
    While thy spirit shines above;
And this earth so fresh and verdant,
    But reminds us of thy love.

Those who knew thy heart, sweet Mary!
    Knew how pure its throbbings were;
O’er that heart, which throbs no longer,
    Memory sheds her purest tear.

Yes, the tender mourning, Mary!
    And the blank felt in thy home,
Live as freshly in our bosoms
    As the rose-leaves o’er thy tomb.

Thou wert ever gentle, Mary!
    All our comfort and our pride;
Now that thou art gone to heaven,
    Oh! to heaven our spirits guide!