Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/299

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shutting over the small, horizontal tomb-stones, which recorded only the name, and date of the deceased. In such a spot, so sweet, so lowly, so secluded, the clay might willingly wait its reunion with the spirit.

Before the corpse, walked the young men of the village, bearing instruments of music. They paused at the gate of the place of burial. Then a strain from voice and flute, rose, subdued and tremulous, like the strings of the wind-harp. It seemed as if a timid, yet prevailing suppliant, sought admission, to the ancient city of the dead.

The gate unclosed. As they slowly wound around the gentle ascent, to the open grave, the Pastor with solemn intonation, repeated passages from the Book of God. Thrilling, beyond expression, amid the silence of the living, and the slumber of the dead, were the blessed words of our Saviour, "I am the resurrection and the life."

He ceased, and all gathered round the brink of the pit. The little ones drew near, and looked downward into its depths, sadly, but without fear. Then, came a burst of music, swelling higher and higher, till it seemed no longer of earth. Methought, it was the welcome in heaven, to the innocent spirit, the joy of angels over a new immortal, that had never sinned. Wrapped as it were, in that glorious melody, the little [232]