All things that we ordained festival,
Turn from their office to black funeral;
Our instruments, to melancholy bells;
Our wedding cheer, to sad burial feast;
Our solemn hymns, to sullen dirges change:
Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse,
And all things change them to the contrary. [ William Shakespeare ]
I like that ancient Saxon phrase which calls
The burial ground, God's Acre! It is just;
It consecrates each grave within its walls.
And breathes a benison over the sleeping dust.
* * * * *
Into its furrows shall we all be cast.
In the sure faith, that we shall rise again
At the great harvest, when the archangel's blast
Shall winnow, like a fan, the chaff and grain. [ Longfellow ]
A library is but the soul's burial ground; it is the land of shadows. [ H. W. Beecher ]
Time magnifies everything after death; a man's fame is increased as it passes from mouth to mouth after his burial. [ Propertius ]
Everything dies, and on this spring morning, if I lay my ear to the ground, I seem to hear from every point of the compass the heavy step of men who carry a corpse to its burial. [ Madame de Gasparin ]
The Christian cemetery is a memorial and a record. It is not a mere field in which the dead are stowed away unknown; it is a touching and beautiful history, written in family burial plots, in mounded graves, in sculptured and inscribed monuments. It tells the story of the past, - not of its institutions, or its wars, or its ideas, but of its individual lives, - of its men and women and children, and of its household. It is silent, but eloquent; it is common, but it is unique. We find no such history elsewhere; there are no records in all the wide world in which we can discover so much that is suggestive, so much that is pathetic and impressive. [ Joseph Anderson ]