The Consecration of a Cemetery

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Written June 6, 1857, for the dedication of Newton Cemetery; also sung at dedication of Rose Hill Cemetery, Chicago, Ill.

Deep 'mid these dim and silent shades
  The slumbering dead shall life,
Tranquil as summer evening fades
  Along the western sky.

The whispering winds shall linger here
  To lull their deep repose,—
Like music on the dewy air,
  Like nightfall on the rose.

Light through the twining boughs shall shed
  Its calm and cheerful ray,
As hope springs from the dying bed
  And points to perfect day.

Around each funeral urn shall cling
  The fairest, freshest flowers,—
Emblem of heaven's eternal spring,
  And brighter lands than ours.

Gathered from thousand homes, the dust
  In soft repose shall lie,
Like garnered seed in holy trust
  For immortality.

Room for the households! till the morn
  Its glories shall restore,
And on the silent sleepers dawn
  The day that fades no more.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.