W0371 SCHOOL ESSAY BY [DR.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN
Sep 23 1825
From: Bradford Academy, [Bradford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.] THE GRAVE
The grave seems to cast a solemn dread over every beholder, it being in itself dark and silent, and the repository of human bodies gives it a tenfold horror. There, nought but the preying of the feeble worm disturbs the awful silence of our departed kindred. There the blooming youth, the weary traveler, and the mighty monarch, without distinction, meet and mingle with their kindred dust; no more to be interested in the youthful circle, the trying concerns, and perplexing cares of this fleeting life.
We are often called to consign to this silent mansion, our brightest hopes, our dearest friends, and those in whom we had promised ourselves much future enjoyment. As we behold the bud, just beginning to bloom, smitten with the winds of adversity, its crimsoned leaves turn pale in the blast, and ere the sun had scarcely risen upon it; it droops and dies. Thus we see our fondest expectations blasted by the ruthless hand of death; and when we are called to pay them this last tribute of affection, to consign them to this lonely house, we sensibly feel that it is gloomy indeed.
Then the tender ties of humanity are severed; the last lingering look; the pensive sigh, clearly indicate the solemnity, and I might almost say despair, that hovers over this charnel house. But when we view it, only as a passage from this to another world, and that ere long our sleeping dust shall be reanimated by the sound of the trump of the archangel, a ray of hope beams upon the soul, and we are led to exclaim in ecstacy with the poet: "Legions of angels can't confine us there."
C. McQuesten [Calvin]