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when we have gone ourselves, even our memories will not stay behind us long. A few of the near and dear will bear our likeness in their bosoms, till they too have arrived at the end of their journey, and entered the dark dwelling of unconsciousness. In the thoughts of others we shall live only till the last sound of the bell, which informs them of our departure, has ceased to vibrate in their ears.
A stone, perhaps, may tell some wanderer where we lie, when we came here, and when we went away; but even that will soon refuse to bear us record : “time's effacing fingers” will be busy on its surface, and at length will wear it smooth; and then the stone itself will sink, or crumble, and the wanderer of another age will pass, without a single call upon his sympathy, over our unheeded graves.
Is there nothing to counteract the sinking of the heart which must be the effect of observations like these? Is there no substance among all these shadows? If all who live and breathe around us are the creatures of yesterday, and destined to see destruction to-morrow; if the same condition is our own, and the same sentence is written against us if the solid forms of inanimate nature and laborious art are fading and falling; if we look in vain, for durability, to the very roots of the mountains, where shall we turn, and on what can we rely ? Can no support be offered ? can no source of confidence be named ? O, yes ! there is one Being, to whom we can look with a perfect conviction of finding that security which nothing about us can give, and which nothing about us can take away.
To this Being we can lift up our souls, and on him we may rest them, exclaiming, in the language of the monarch of Israel, “ Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God!" "Of old hast thou laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture
shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.”
Here, then, is a support which will never fail ; here is a foundation which can never be moved — the everlasting Creator of countless worlds, “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity." What a sublime conception ! He inhabits eternity, occupies this inconceivable duration, pervades and fills throughout this boundless dwelling. Ages on ages before even the dust of which we are formed was created, he had existed in infinite majesty ; and ages on ages will roll away, after we have all returned to the dust whence we were taken, and still he will exist in infinite majesty, living in the eternity of his own nature, reigning in the plenitude of his own omnipotence, forever sending forth the word which forms, supports, and governs all things, commanding new-created light to shine on new-created worlds, and raising up new-created generations to inhabit them.
The contemplation of this glorious attribute of God is fitted to excite in our minds the most animating and consoling reflections. Standing as we are amid the ruins of time and the wrecks of mortality, where every thing about us is created and dependent, proceeding from nothing, and hastening to destruction, we rejoice that something is presented to our view which has stood from everlasting, and will remain forever. When we have looked on the pleasures of life, and they have vanished away ; when we have looked on the works of nature, and perceived that they were changing on the monuments of art, and seen that they would not stand; on our friends, and they have fled while we were gazing; on ourselves, and felt that we were as fleeting as they ; — when we have looked on every object to which we could turn our anxious eyes, and they have all told us that they could give us no hope nor support, because they were so feeble themselves, - we can look to the throne of God: change and decay have never reached that; the revolution of ages has never moved it; the waves of an eternity have been rushing past it, but it has remained unshaken; the waves of another eternity are rushing towards it, but it is fixed, and can never be disturbed.
CLXI. - ALARIC THE VISIGOTH.
[Alaric stormed and spoiled the city of Rome, and was afterwards buried in the channel of the River Busentius, the water of which had been diverted from its coarn that the body might be interred.]
WHEN I am dead, no pageant train
Shall waste their sorrows at my bier,
ain it with hypocritic tear ;
Ye shall not pile, with servile toil,
Your monuments upon my breast,
Lay down the wreck of power to rest;
the mountain stream shall turn,
A resting place forever there :
My gold and silver ye shall fling
Back to the clods that gave them birth
The captured crowns of many a king,
The ransom of a conquered earth : For, e'en though dead, will I control The trophies of the Capitol.
My course was like a river deep,
And from the northern hills I burst Across the world, in wrath to sweep;
And where I went the spot was cursed, Nor blade of grass again was seen Where Alaric and his hosts had been.
Not for myself did I ascend
In judgment my triumphal car; 'Twas God alone on high did send
The avenging Scythian to the war,
With iron hand that
I reared O'er guilty king and guilty realm ; Destruction was the ship I steered,
And Vengeance sat upon the helm, When, launched in fury on the flood, I ploughed my way through seas of blood, And in the stream their hearts had spilt Washed out the long arrears of guilt.
Across the everlasting Alp
I poured the torrent of my powers, And feeble Cæsars shrieked for help,
In vain, within their seven-hilled towers : I quenched in blood the brightest gem That glittered in their diadem, And struck a darker, deeper dye In the purple of their majesty,
And bade my northern banners shine
I go to Him from whom I came;
Of glory that adorns my name ;
My course is run, my errand done ;
But darker ministers of fate,
And in the caves of vengeance, wait ;
CLXII. — COMPLETION OF BUNKER HILL MONUMENT,
JUNE 17, 1843.
A DUTY has been performed. A work of gratitude and patriotism is completed. This structure, having its foundations in soil which drank deep of early revolutionary blood, has at length reached its destined height, and now lifts its summit to the skies.
The Bunker Hill Monument is finished. Here it stands. Fortunate in the natural eminence on which it is placed, higher, infinitely higher, in its objects and purpose, – it rises over the land and over the sea ; and visible, at their homes, to three hundred thousand of the people of Massachusetts, it stands, a memorial of the last, and a monitor to the present and all succeeding generations. I have spoken of the loftiness of its purpose. If it had been without any other design than the creation of a work of art, the granite, of which it is
* One of the seven hills on which Rome was built.