For the Phoenix.
Tho' soothingly sweet, have a tone from the tomb.
How do we love to revert to other and happier days. To see in imagination the forms we then loved: to listen in fancy to the voices that greeted us in childhood: the merry laugh and tones of affection that even now we can call to mind, have, alas, long since died away upon our ears. A moment we enjoyed them, and they were gone. We were scarce conscious of their presence when they had forever taken their flight. The power of association--how strong, how valuable. How often will even
Revive a whole life-time in that single hour.
It was a golden day, early in September 1840. The sun had just hid his dazzling head behind the green hills of Vermont, and fleecy clouds, streaked ever and anon with purple and gold, floated gracefully about the horizon. I found myself strolling at this lovely hour, in a churchyard in B. This church yard is beautifully situated at the top of a high hill, from which can be enjoyed the most delightful prospect. At the foot of the hill, on the east, rolls the majestic Connecticut, with its emerald banks lined with shrubbery and decked with wild flowers. In a pleasant valley on the north, stands the village of B., crowded with the young, gay and beautiful, middle aged, and those whose hairs are whitened with the frosts of many winters, those revelling in luxury, those who labor for the comforts of life, and those who dwell in poverty's most miserable abode, all, all are there. These scenes presented themselves to the eye, and bro't with them thoughts of the time when the numerous beings now laid to moulder in the cold, dark tomb, were as active and busy in life's varied stages as those who now fill their places.
While in this state of mind, my steps were bent, as it were unbidden, to a pure white stone, on which was inscribed a name that I had often seen before. How many past scenes did this call into life. It was the grave of a little playmate, and one for whom I felt that true childish affection, so warm, so ardent, that cannot be the influence of selfish principles. Her health was delicate from infancy. She died of quick consumption, and very suddenly. One day I stood by her side in the class, and she was then apparently as well as usual. The next day death came and plucked the budding rose from the parent stem. A few steps farther, and another met my eye. He was the youngest child of wealthy parents. He was the favorite son and beloved brother. One bright May morn he gaily left his home with some young companions, to play along the banks of the river. Finding a skiff there, they all got into it, mooring it about at pleasure. The boat they thought was safely fastened on shore, but unfortunately its hold gave way, and it rapidly made its way into the stream. All sprang out and were saved but James, who was in the further part of the boat, and when it came his turn to leave it had proceeded so far from the shore that he sunk. He rose again and again, struggled long and hard for life, but fruitless. His companions could not save him from a watery grave, though some endangered their lives in attempting it. The alarm was given, but ere any could reach the spot he had floated down the stream lifeless. The grassy mound of another and another was passed who had, in former years, met me in the same school room, and conned over the same light tasks in childhood, but now I approached one more recently made. It was that of one to whom my heart was bound by the strongest ties of youthful friendship. She was favored with all that is lovely in person and disposition. I do not say she was perfect, but she was too pure for earth. Death came very sudden and unexpected, but she was a Christian, and she met it with a smile. Alas, for the scenes of other days that can never be erased from the pages of memory.
As oft in days of yore,
And saw, with fancy's eye, the forms
That we behold no more.
But when I remembered that they were gone, forever gone, I was forced to exclaim, too truly said the poet,
Tho' soothingly sweet have a tone from the tomb.
M. N. H.
Ashford, Cattaraugus Co., N. Y.
Vermont Phoenix, February 2, 1844.
A long, well-rounded life, and one of rare delicacy and beauty of character, came to an end last Tuesday in the death, at her Elliot street home, of Mrs. Eunice Thomas Larrabee, widow of the late James L. Larrabee. Mrs. Larrabee was born in Hinsdale, N. H., in March, 1799, and was one of the twelve children of Daniel and Eunice Thomas, of whom she was the last survivor. Her ancestors were among the pioneer settlers of Hinsdale. Her grandfather was the first white child born in Chesterfield, N. H., his birth-place being at the well-known Thomas place near the Connecticut river, just north of and on the side opposite to the mouth of West river. Mrs. Larrabee grew to maturity in Hinsdale. Her marriage to Mr. Larrabee took place in 1819, and ever since that time she has been a resident of Brattleboro. Mr. Larrabee died in 1825, and after his death Mrs. Larrabee and her only daughter, Mrs. Asa Sherwin, made their home together. The only granddaughter, Mrs. Jerome Knight, has also been a member of the family circle, and in recent years has personally cared for her grandmother. Mrs. Larrabee enjoyed good health until a few months ago, and her death was finally caused by the general weakness incident to old age. She had been for some time the oldest member of the Centre church, with which she united Nov. 13, 1831, and in accordance with whose principles she has lived during this long term of years. Only a few persons now living have been longer members of the church than had she. She was a woman of bright and active mind, and of singular purity of character. Her tastes were what in the best sense may be termed of an æsthetic nature. She had a great love of flowers and music, and a general interest in objects of nature. The funeral was held this afternoon, Rev. Mr. Day officiating. Mr. Brasor sang three selections which Mrs. Larrabee years ago expressed a wish to have rendered at her funeral. Different relatives acted as pall bearers, and the burial was in Prospect hill cemetery. An abundance of flowers was furnished by the many friends by whom she was held in high esteem.
Vermont Phoenix, November 27, 1891.
James L. Larrabee drowned on May 7, 1826 when he was twenty-seven years old.