W1150 ESSAY BY MARGARETTE BARKER LERNED [MCQUESTEN]
Aug 18 1825
From: Adams Female Academy , Londonderry, New Hampshire THE DYING DAY
"The dying day and pale declining year,
But represent the near approaching doom
Of all things earthly."
It is interesting and improving to trace the events, which occurred in former ages, and to become acquainted with the characters of men in the various ranks of life. The names of many, whose reputation was unblemished, and who led virtuous lives are accorded in History with some of the most despicable of mankind.
Time with her "Leaden sceptre"1 now marks the fading scenes of nature, and each succeeding year carries thousands to their final abode. The morning opens with prospects bright and flattering. The sky is lucid and tranquil, and the aspect of nature is pleasing and lovely. The sun display his dazzling beams over the landscape, which is presented to the eye, and all is a scene of inexsprefsible lovelinefs.2 The fleecy clouds, which not long since screened the weary traveller from the scorching heat, now darken around him, and his heart sinks at the change. The autumnal leaves tremble on their branches, and the fields which were covered with the luxuriate bounties of heaven, are now divested of all their rich abundance.
This season may truly represent the autumn of life, which rapidly advances. Every tie that binds us to earth, will then be broken, and those friends, we most dearly loved, will be laid in the silent grave, while their immortal spirit will ascend to the bar of God to receive their future destiny according to the works done here in the body.
Although every thing around us shows the importance of improving our time, yet many waste those precious hours in idle conversation, or unprofitable reading that ought to be employed in gaining useful knowledge, and preparing for a future state of existence. When on the brink of eternity, how great will be the change in our views. Each son will then stare those in the face, who do not repent.
O may my last end be like the righteous, and when I am consigned to the lovely grace, may my immortal spirit reign in mansions of blessednefs [sic]. May no rude thorns, obstruct my path, but a heavenly ray of light guide me to the residence of the angelic choir, who tune their harps to the glory of Emmanuel.
Margarette B. Lerned
Adams Female Academy3
Londonderry, August 18, 1825.
1 Edward Young (1683–1765) QUOTATION:
Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world.
Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 18.
."Leaden Sceptre." Columbia Encyclopedia. December 13, 2003. http://www.bartleby.com/100/224.2.html.
Margarette has used this poem as inspiration for several of her essays, see W1145, W1147.
2 Margarette is using the now archaic "fs" structure for the "ss" sound.
3 For a note on Adams Female Academy, and on Margarette Barker Lerned, see W1100.