Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/159

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147
OPEN SPACES.

struggle of life or the more deadening influence of success or ease—startle him to memories, at least, of a greater, nobler life than he was leading; to the weary and dejected it seemed to me they might point to the continuance in that great hereafter of all we seem to lose here, and all the while the words would be felt to be keeping watch over the dead, whose sudden silence is so hard to bear, but the harmony of whose grand, sweet song in that vast for-ever we catch now and again when we are doing noble things, and so tuning our hearts into more perfect sympathy with the music of God's universe.

I have spoken mainly of making open spaces, because I think the usefulness of the parks and the embankment is much more generally known. I am rather afraid of their being supposed to supersede the need of small open spaces quite near the homes of the poor, than of their value being underrated. The old and the very young cannot get to them often,