Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/217

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Memorial Window in Trinity Church, Portsmouth. 211

" It this is not used correctly in this inscription, then all our lexi- cographers have erred in defining it, and we should not be at all sur- prised to see an order from Washington requiring all dictionaries containing this word to be burned, and no more permitted to be pub- lished with it therein. According to all acknowledged authority the word was correctly used. It was an "invasion" whether right or wrong we have in good faith accepted the result without discussion. If a true Christian spirit animated your breasts you would not have censured this noble deed, this highest of all Christian virtues the memorializing of the sainted dead but you would have commended it in a spirit which we expected at your hands. Well may it be asked, 1 What next ?' When the head department of a government claiming to be 'the best in the world,' with sacrilegious hand invades God's temple and snatches from its frescoed walls a monument of Chris- tian love erected to departed worth, because the plain, unvar- nished truth is insciibed upon it when such acts of despotism are resorted to in order to gratify the selfish and debased cravings of a vile nature, then may we say that Justice, Mercy and Truth have descended from their thrones, and that tyranny has usurped their places and reigns supreme. It may not be long before our cemete- ries are invaded by ruthless hands and the very stones under which rest the ashes of our heroic dead torn from over them and broken into a thousand pieces, and their dry bones dragged from their graves as desecrations and unworthy to sleep in the bosom of their mother earth. Rulers of this Christian land, we blush for you.

Take down your memorial window,

Tenderly take it away,

Lay it aside as a relic,

In its place put another of gray.

In lieu of the gorgeous colors Which glowed in the sunlight of day, Let a cold light fall within the church Through a window of modest gray.

Let it have no word of inscription, Never a hint of the fray, Let it cast in the church a twilight Tender and soft and gray.

Then will the true and the valiant Pause, when they kneel to pray, And ask God's rest for the heroes Whose story is told in gray.