THE TWO BURIALS, by Julia Perkins Pratt Ballard (from Robert Merry's Museum, November 1867, pp. 147-148)
[In reading the Life of Abraham Lincoln, one is forcibly struck by the contrast in the burial of his mother--alone, in an unbroken forest, in a rude, homemade box, with no funeral service, and scarcely a witness outside of the family--and the unparalleled magnificence of the national funeral of her noble son a few years later.]
In the cool, unbroken shadow, Where the fragile wild-flowers nod, Dreamily above the sleeper Laid beneath the forest sod, Lonely in their grief they bore her, With no sound of tolling bell; Ah! the sob of crushed affection Was the mother's funeral-knell. Never had that grand old forest Echoed to the sexton's spade; First, within its sheltering bosom, Was that noble mother laid. Lonely sleeper! he whose footsteps Wore a path to that lone mound-- Who with tears so oft bedewed it-- That same sleep too quickly found.
Borne along, in bitter anguish, List the solemn-toiling bell; Northern lakes to Southern waters Echoed back his funeral-knell. Tolling! in the quiet village, Tolling! in the myriad throng, Tolling! through the mountain gorges, As his form was borne along; Tolling for the sorrow welling From a sudden, awful blow; Tolling for the anguish swelling From a nation's bitter woe! Lonely dust within the forest, Sleeper, where above the sod Millions raised the speaking marble, Rest alike, beloved of God.