Preface (3)

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p-9764-p73Of all the flowers of earthly bloom,
One never withers in the tomb;
Though life shall ebb, and forme decay—
The earth and heavens pass away—
That love which circles in its chain
Friend, parent, brother shall remain,
And often in serener skies
More fragrant scent, and brighter dyes,
And live while endless ages roll,
Eternal as its seat, the soul!
E.G. January 1850

This entry, signed “E.G. January 1850,” possibly by Elizabeth Garrigues or Elizabeth Grimke,provides a warm and reassuring interpretation of death. The human soul becomes an endless life form, sustained by the love of those held dear. Despite the obvious decay of the physical body “one never withers in the tomb” because “that love which circles in its chain” remains active through the beings and souls of those one loved while alive. The flower imagery that first engages the reader is a well-placed complement to the many sketches of flowers that are drawn throughout the Cassey album.

Page 73: Selected from a poem in James Edmeston Sacred Poetry (London: James Nisbet & Co, 1848). The poem is originally “Written in a Sister’s Album.”

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