THE STRANGER’S DEATH.

I am lucky enough to have in my personal library a book entitled ‘The Mourner’s Friend or Sighs of Sympathy For Those Who Sorrow’. It is a collection of prose and verse compiled to give comfort to the grieving. Edited by J.B. Syme, published in 1852 by S.A. Howland in Worcester, Mass, USA; its contents are by American and European authors and some surprising famous names. My copy of the book has some water damage, ageing paper, and precarious binding, so before it deteriorates my project to preserve the words of the authors will find its way here on the MOLAM blog. 

THE STRANGER’S DEATH.

THEY stand around the couch of the dying. Who ? I sit the tender mother and idolizing father ? Is he surrounded by sympathizing sisters and brothers, the playmates of his childhood, the friends of his early days ? No ; none of these are near him ; strangers watch his parting breath ; old, unfeeling strangers. No tear of pity bedews his burning brow, no kiss of tenderness is pressed upon his fevered lips, no soft hand of affection soothes his pillow of death. Why is this ? Is he forgotten in the home of his father / he who was once the joy of every heart, the beloved of all who knew him ? Ah, no ! that mother’s prayer is even now ascending to heaven for her treasured child ; all is joy in that home ; for the son, the brother, is returning to his native land. He left the shores of our happy New England, left all that was dear to his heart, with but little regret, for he fondly thought that a few moths would restore him to the embraces of his friends. To the South he bent his steps ; prosperity smiled upon him, success crowned his undertakings, already was his mission accomplished, and he had started for the place of his birth, when alas ! disease fastened upon him and he was prostrated upon a bed of suffering, never again to rise. There, without one friend to comfort, so speak to him of hope, he must pass away to the spirit-land. No prayer ascends from that chamber of death, save from the lips of the dying stranger. Look on that brow. Death as set there its seal, but it cannot efface the intellectual beauty, the soul-speaking expression of his noble countenance. His eyes are raised to heaven, his pale hands clasped in supplication ; for what does he pray ? Hard was it for him to resign every hope of life ; to die, with the first flush of manhood on his brow ; hard to lie down in the cold grave, in the spring-time of existence, and double hard to die far from the endearments of friends, and to leave his remains in a land of slavery and crime.

“O!” said he, when told that no hope remained of his recovery, ” I Cannot die here ; bear me to my kindred ; let me again hear the voices of loved ones, and I shall rest in peace. ” But he, at whose rebuke the tempest ceases its raging, and tranquility is restored to the angry deep ; he, the God of all who put their trust in him, forsook him not, but over the trouble depths of his spirit whispered ” Be still.” And now the strife is ceased, calm and peaceful is his soul : and he breathes that sweet prayer of resignation, “Father, thy will be done.” A seraphic smile radiates his features even in death, a light of no earthly beauty beams from his eye, his lips move and the words “meet in heaven” are faintly uttered, and all is over ; the spirit is with its God, where the weary rest forever.

Peace to thine ashes, my dear, departed brother. Long will they memory live int he hearts of those who love thee, but who may never drop a tear upon thy lonely grave. In the far distant valley of the Mississippi strangers have laid thee to rest, the flowers oft eh sunny South bloom over thee, thy dust mingles with that of the down-trodden and oppressed, whose cause thou didst ever nobly vindicate. Yet methinks thy spirit often revisits the scenes once so dear to thee, whispering comfort and hope to the hearts that mourn thine early departure, and painting thee to a blissful reunion, where disappointments never chill, and where friends never separate. Even now, in this stil evening hour, I seem to hear a sweet, familiar voice, in tones of richest melody, saying, –

Sister, I am happy now,
No anxious fears alloy;
No sorrow clouds my brow,
But perfect is my joy.

My heart no anguish knows,
My throbbing head finds rest;
I lean, in sweet repose,
Upon my Saviour’s breast.

EARTH’S ANGELS.

I am lucky enough to have in my personal library a book entitled ‘The Mourner’s Friend or Sighs of Sympathy For Those Who Sorrow’. It is a collection of prose and verse compiled to give comfort to the grieving. Edited by J.B. Syme, published in 1852 by S.A. Howland in Worcester, Mass, USA; its contents are by American and European authors and some surprising famous names. My copy of the book has some water damage, ageing paper, and precarious binding, so before it deteriorates my project to preserve the words of the authors will find its way here on the MOLAM blog. 

EARTH’S ANGELS.

WHY come not spirits from the realms of glory
To visit earth, as in the days of old,
The times of sacred writ and ancient story ?
Is heaven more distant ? or has earth grown cold ?

Oft have I gazed, when sunset clouds, receding,
Waved like rich banners of a host gone by ,
To catch the gleam of some white pinion speeding
Along the confines of the glowing sky ; –

And oft, when midnight stars, in distant chillness,
Were calmly burning, listened late and long ;
But Nature’s pulse beat on in solemn stillness ;
Bearing no echo of the seraph’s song.

To Bethlehem’s air was their last anthem given,
When other stars before The One grew dim ?
Was their last presence known in Peter’s prison ?
Or where exulting martyrs raised their hymn ?

And are they all within the veil departed ?
There gleams no wing along the empyrean now ;
And many a tear from human eyes has started,
Since angel touch has calmed a mortal brow.

No ; earth has angels, though their forms are moulded,
But of such clay as fashions all below ;
Though harps are wanting, and bright pinions folded,
we know them by the love-light on their brow.

I have seen angels by the sick one’s pillow;
Theirs was the soft tone and the soundless tread ;
where smitten hearts were drooping like the willow,
They stood “between the living and the dead.”

And if my sight, by earthly dimness hindered,
Beheld no hovering cherubim in air,
I doubted not, – for spirits know their kindred, –
They smiled upon the wingless watchers there.

There have been angels in the gloomy prison, –
In crowded halls, – by the lone widow’s hearth ;
And where they passed, the fallen have uprisen, –
The giddy paused, – the mourner’s hope had birth.

I have seen one whose eloquence commanding
Roused the rich echoes of the human breast,
The blandishments of wealth and ease withstanding,
That Hope might reach the suffering and oppressed.

And by his side there moved a form of beauty,
Strewing sweet flowers along his path of life,
And looking up with meek and love-lent duty ; –
I call her angel, but he called her wife.

O, many a spirit walks the world unheeded,
That, when its veil of sadness is laid down,
Shall soar aloft with pinions unimpeded,
And wear its glory like a starry crown.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 'A Soul Brought To Heaven', 1878.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, ‘A Soul Brought To Heaven’, 1878.

THE EMIGRANT’S BURIAL. By L. M. Child.

I am lucky enough to have in my personal library a book entitled ‘The Mourner’s Friend or Sighs of Sympathy For Those Who Sorrow’. It is a collection of prose and verse compiled to give comfort to the grieving. Edited by J.B. Syme, published in 1852 by S.A. Howland in Worcester, Mass, USA; its contents are by American and European authors and some surprising famous names. My copy of the book has some water damage, ageing paper, and precarious binding, so before it deteriorates my project to preserve the words of the authors will find its way here on the MOLAM blog. 

 The author of this piece, like many other contributors, was a recognised human rights activist of her time, supporting women’s rights, the abolition of slavery and Native American rights. Interestingly, the author achieved significant recognition and success as a writer, not an easy feat for a woman. Lydia Maria Child (1802 – 1880) became well known for her novel Hobomok released in 1824 it became a sensation as it was the first historical novel written from a feminine point of view and contains a female protagonist who married a Native American Indian. In the piece below, the author displays her empathy for another ‘outsider’, the emigrant alone in a foreign land.

THE EMIGRANT’S BURIAL. By L. M. Child.

THE Englishman was an intelligent, well-informed young man, who, being unable to marry the object of his choice with any chance of comfortable support in his own country, had come to prepare a home for his beloved in the El Dorado of the West.

A neglected cold brought on lung fever, which left him in a rapid decline ; but still, full of hope, he was pushing on up the Mississippi in a steamer, for the township where he had planned for himself a domestic paradise. He was now among strangers, and felt that death was nigh. The Swiss emigrants treated him with that thoughtful, zealous tenderness which springs from genial hearts, deeply imbued with the religious sentiment. One wish of his soul they could not gratify, by reason of their ignorance. Being too weak to hold a pen, he earnestly desired to dictate to some one else a letter to his mother and betrothed. This Capt. T. readily consented to do ; and promised, so far as in him lay, to carry into effect any arrangement he might wish to make.

Soon after this melancholy duty was fulfilled, the young sufferer departed. When the steamboat arrived at its final destination, the kindhearted Capt. T. made the best arrangements he could for a decent burial. There was no chaplain on board ; and unused as he was to the performance of religious ceremonies, he himself read the funeral service from a book of Common Prayer, found in the young stranger’s trunk. The body was tenderly placed on a board, and carried out, face upwards, into the silent solitude of the primeval forest. The sun verging to the west, cast oblique glances through the foliage, and played on the pale face in flickering light and shadow. Even the most dissipated of the emigrants were sobered by a scene so touching and so solemn ; and all followed reverently in procession. Having dug the grave, they laid him carefully within, and replaced the sods above him ; then sadly and thoughtfully they returned slowly to the boat. Subdued to tender melancholy by the scene he had witnessed, and the unusual service h had performed, Capt. T. avoided company, and wandered off alone into the woods. Unquiet questionings and far-reaching thoughts of God and immortality lifted his soul towards the Eternal ; and, heedless of his footsteps, he lost his way in the windings of the forest. A widely devious and circuitous route brought him within sound of human voices. It was a gushing melody taking its rest in sweetest cadences. with pleased surprise, he followed it, and came suddenly in view of the new-made grave. The kindly Swiss matron and her innocent daughter, had woven a large and beautiful cross from the broad leaves of the papau-tree, and twined it with the pure white blossoms of the trailing convolvulus. They had placed it reverently at the head of the stranger’s grave ; and kneeling before it, chanted their Evening Hymn to the Virgin. A glowing twilight shed its rosy flush on the consecrated symbol and the modest, friendly faces of those humble worshippers. Thus beautifully they paid their tribute of respect to the unknown one, of another faith, and a foreign clime, who had left home and kindred to die among strangers, in the wilderness.

How would the holy gracefulness of this scene have melted the hearts of his mother and his beloved.

Lydia Maria Child, 1870

Lydia Maria Child, 1870

Collector Profile: David The Artman Collects Drumkits

David The Artman solves art installation issues by day and becomes a globe-trotting rock/pop/country drummer by night. In other words, he’s living the dream. Then there is his third dimension – Drumkit Collector. We love our passionate Collector psychology, so what’s his all about?

MOLAM: Hi Dave. How long have you been collecting drums?

DK: Not long really. 3 – 4 years…

When did you notice the change from ‘buying’ a set of drums to ‘collecting’ them?

having gone from the family’s kit , then my brothers and eventually my own kit through my teens to the big rack mounted Pearl drumkit endorsement deal in my 20’s then with my musical influences changing I thought I’d like to scale right back to a little sixties kit ….with my eye on of course a prized Ludwig Ringo Starr Beatle kit…. Dream on….I’d settled for an early 70’s Premier jazz kit in Grey Shimmer. Still not satisfied after a few years I found a 1968 Ludwig (not a Ringo) but a Psychedelic Oyster.. Satisfied with the psychedelic oyster for about 7 years… Then I thought I should sell the Premier.. I took some photos to post and was looking at them and I thought why am I selling this.. I didnt need the money.. I have the room.. Why can’t I have 2 drum kits and so on and so on…. Down the slippery slope I went…

1968 Ludwig 'psychedelic oyster'

1968 Ludwig ‘psychedelic oyster’

Do you have a collecting criteria (brand, era, aesthetic, sound…)?

Not a strict criteria, I’m not really fussed about the brand. some are really cheap Japanese kits from the sixties that were competing against the better USA brands of the time so they look awesome in appearance with their funky colourful wraps (exterior finish) but the wooden drum shells underneath are of a much thinner 3ply lesser quality wood and are constructed a little differently.
Era – mostly 60’s and 70’s not by choice but just because I love the wraps they were producing back then..mine are mostly smaller sized bass drum or jazz kits too… I like the smaller kits as I’m short and I like to sit high behind the kit so the kit is lower down and flat then a rock kit that would have larger diameters and depths meaning all a bit higher..
Sound – with the older kits they do have a unique tone compared to kits of today… Kits today can weigh a ton… 10ply shells and I find them very loud.. I like the older high quality kits like the ludwigs and yamaha for their thinner shells and distinct tone. Kits can vary so much with the type of skin and also just by the player…. A great player can make the cheapest nastiest kit sound awesome…
And also some are just unique or odd fashionable kits too… I have a clear acrylic ‘fibes’ USA kit from the 70’s and a ‘Simmons’ hexagon electronic kit…. Just waiting for Duran Duran reform…?

1972 USA Fibes 'clear acrylic'

1972 USA Fibes ‘clear acrylic’

(Oh, dearest Dave, that is so sweet and funny, as if Duran Duran ever split up. They were here performing 3 years ago. Timeless.)  So, do you play all of your kits ?

They do all get played from time to time.. I have favourites… I’ll be into a particular kit for awhile then for whatever reason choose another kit and then back again… .

Do they all have a turn going out to gigs with you?

Yep, absolutely. I like to mix it up. keep my drummer friends jealous and also depending on the band ie: pop, rock, country the sound of the kit or venue, stage size etc..

How egalitarian of you, like trying not to favour a particular child or something. And showing off to boot! How many kits do you have now?

mmmm 10 if you count the cheapy I found at a garage sale which our cat Monkee uses the bass drum for a bed entering through the microphone hole.

Any musicians of note played / owned them?

The only one I’m aware of is the Premier kit I was told belonged to Jim Elliott From the Cruel Sea.. A few years back I was drumming on Jim Moginie’s (midnight oil) solo record Atlas Folkloric with the brief NOT to play like legendary powerhouse oils drummer Rob Hirst, However one song required Robs special touch.. So Jim got him in.. My kit had been re-skinned for the session with my sticks leaving hit and scuffs marks in the centre of all the drums from about 2weeks of recording … Rob comes in, played one song, two takes and the skins were beaten and scuffed over the entire surface of the skin… Id never witnessed Robs manic playing up close before, totally mind blowing! He definitely gave my kit his special touch. And a lovely guy to boot. (Rob also owns several vintage Ludwig drumkits).

How fantastic! Where are your drums, are they all set up or do you have to put them in storage?

I have large rumpus room down stairs in my house where I have them semi set up with one being set up in the middle of the room with all the cymbals etc. then when I feel like a change its really simple to swap over just the drums…. The set up configuration for all my kits is the same so the cymbals and stands just remain where they are and the drums switch in and out.. Same as my live set up, I have a second set of stands and cymbals which stay in the road cases… Then when it’s gig time I grab the two road case and play eany meany miney mo with what ever kit I want to use a for the gig… I also have a kit setup in the lounge room upstairs, so when I get the urge at any given time day or night or a song comes on the radio or at 2 in the morning after a few wines I can have a bash… and its great whenever anyone visits young or old they always sit behind it and have a little tap tap saying ‘I always wanted to play drums’ or ‘I wish I could play drums’ … ‘can you show me something’ …. It’s a fun thing to have…

" My 'temple of boom' "

It is wonderful to have your collection available to visitors – interactive. People seem to reveal parts of themselves when they are around a collection – it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s art, jewellery, drums, smurfs. It’s fascinating. What is the rarest kit in your collection and why?

I guess it’s the 1968 Ludwig Psychedelic Oyster, from what I’ve researched not to many of these were made.. And only a few made it to our shores… The colour is no longer available from Ludwig … I was at a drum store once chatting to the sales guy and he asked what I was playing – psyc oyster etc and he goes wow not to many of them around. Turns to his filing cabinet pulls out a photo of one…. Thats it! that’s mine… The photo was of a really old fella behind it… I knew it was mine as the legs that hold the bass drum and the tom mount had unfortunately been updated.. Sales guy said the old guy would hobble in to his store like arthritic death but sit behind a kit and just come alive… I’m glad his kit lives on, And I hope the old fella is too.

I feel the same way with pieces in my collection. It is the history, and sense of playing a caretaker role, that makes one keenly aware of the people who have cared for the piece before you. Indirect relationships.

Have you had to restore any of them?

I haven’t had to do much actual repair work..Generally I just remove all the chrome give it a good polish and give the shells a good clean. the skins are generally pretty tired so at times I buy new skins for my favourite kits and hand there skins down to the other kits.. Re-skinning a whole kit top and bottom is quite costly so I usually wait until I’m doing some recording or touring and do it then. The Yamaha ‘yellow dragon’ had the wrap unfortunately ripped on the top so I flipped it to the bottom and drilled new holes for the legs and Tom mounts… So the damage is not seen now..

1970 Yamaha 'Gold Dragon'

1970 Yamaha ‘Gold Dragon’

We all love a bargain story. Which one was your best buy?

The one Monkee sleeps in.. $30 at a garage sale.. It’s a smallish kit and will be for my littlest nephews to annoy their parents with.. .. They love coming around and playing on all the drums..one is showing some signs he has what it takes… I have hooked my older nephews up with kits too but they haven’t really taken to it… Funnily enough its one of my nieces who I think has the gift… And if she sticks at it she will always have a gig… What band doesn’t want a cool chick up the back on the tubs?

Cool chicks are the best. How old were you when you started playing?

….Started when I was around 10yrs old encouraged by my parents providing a family of six kids a little japanses Star drumkit … Were they out of their minds?my older brother then got his own kit when he was 14 which was a significant upgrade from the Star kit with a few more cymbals and Tomtoms, he being able to teach his little brother (me) a few things until I surpassed him pushing him to the front of the microphone in our first band.. (Forgotten the name ) but I believe my mum knows Led Zepplin 4 as well as I do ?

And now finally what is your dream drumkit to own?

A Ringo of course… and im very fortunate to own the dream.. A ‘Ludwig 1966 ‘black oyster’ There were obviously hundreds if not thousands of these kits made but rare to find one that’s been so well looked after and in Australia …. I’m only the second owner…its a beautiful kit, records nice and always gets comments at gigs by other drummers, sound guys, punters and if they can stop talking about themselves for just a minute even some guitarists..although this is a very rare occasion (Insert drummer joke here). I know there will be a day when I possibly have to move all the kits along but it will never be the Ringo.. I just love it. For years i would look at beatles pictures, video clips etc and think “man I’d love one of those”… Its a huge part of pop music history, the most famous looking drumkit on the planet and now I have one!! I’d like to think mine was sitting on those same shelves in the ludwig factory right next to the same kit Ringo ended up with…..?

1966 'Ringo' Ludwig Black Oyster

1966 ‘Ringo’ Ludwig Black Oyster

I found it online from a guy in country Victoria who had had it for 40 years.. Also a collector, he had many kits, this was his studio kit and it never saw daylight or gigs hence the pristine condition… Some drummer friends saw it posted too but it was right at Xmas time when they didn’t have the money to spend on themselves.. A quick bit of googling and serial number checks etc and I was the proud new owner … For a $K less then i was prepared to pay….. A bargain really… Haven’t seen one as good since!

Thanks Dave. Keep on drumming!

60's Pearl Club Date 'Valencia'

60’s Pearl Club Date ‘Valencia’

TEARS.

I am lucky enough to have in my personal library a book entitled ‘The Mourner’s Friend or Sighs of Sympathy For Those Who Sorrow’. It is a collection of prose and verse compiled to give comfort to the grieving. Edited by J.B. Syme, published in 1852 by S.A. Howland in Worcester, Mass, USA; its contents are by American and European authors and some surprising famous names. My copy of the book has some water damage, ageing paper, and precarious binding, so before it deteriorates my project to preserve the words of the authors will find its way here on the MOLAM blog.

AFFECTING STORY.

FLOW, tears ! Ye have a spell,
A gentle spell, which weaves
Itself o’er my sad heart,
And it dull woe relieves.

Ye are all eloquent,
In your soft, silent flow ;
when, lone and musingly,
I feel my heart sink low.

Ye soothe the aching sense
Of pain, which pressing weights
Upon the troubled soul,
And all its youth decays.

Ye are not for the gaze
Of the cold, scornful eye ;
No mocking look shall rest,
None know, – but purity.

And ye shall mingle
With the dews of even ;
Soft pity may descend
And bear ye up to heaven ;-

May tell how I have wept,
Have agonized alone,
While “rainbow-tinted hopes”
Have faded, one by one,

And, sadder far than all,
The burning anguish wrung
by sin, whose withering touch
Upon my spirit hung ;

And left her taint accurst ,-
Grieving the Holy Dove,
Which fondly hovered there,
An earnest of God’s love.

Flow, tears ! flow on, and calm
This troubled, aching breast ;
your mournful tenderness
Lulls agony to rest.

hope gushes with you ;
Telling of that fair land
Where tears are wiped away
For aye, by God’s own hand.

I will believe, and live.
The cross of Christ I take;
My God accepts my tears
For his dear Jesus’ sake !

AFFECTING STORY

I am lucky enough to have in my personal library a book entitled ‘The Mourner’s Friend or Sighs of Sympathy For Those Who Sorrow’. It is a collection of prose and verse compiled to give comfort to the grieving. Edited by J.B. Syme, published in 1852 by S.A. Howland in Worcester, Mass, USA; its contents are by American and European authors and some surprising famous names. My copy of the book has some water damage, ageing paper, and precarious binding, so before it deteriorates my project to preserve the words of the authors will find its way here on the MOLAM blog. 

AFFECTING STORY.

EVERY one who has visited Washington, I suppose, has spent half an hour before the picture of the Embarkation of the Pilgrims, on the panel in the rotunda. Painters have told me that it was the best picture there ; and others, whose connoiseurship is that of feeling, merely, have confessed to daily and nightly hauntings for many weeks, from some of its figures and groupings.
The tender sadness on the meek face of the invalid boy, and the saintly goodness making that of his mother beautiful, with all its wrinkles, contrast harmoniously ; as, indeed, is there not always harmony in the antithesis of objects beautiful in themselves ; with the youthful and stately figure of Lady Winslow, and the proud, soldiery seeming of the handsome Miles Standish.
But it is, I believe, the exquisite countenance of Rose, his young and lovely wife, through whose incomparable eyes speaks the whole soul of feminine constancy, tenderness, and trust, and on whose forehead rests some rays from the far-off crown of martyrdom, –that elected heritage of womanhood,–which attracts all regards, and conquers all hearts ; consecrating, in a thousand memories, shrines where its remembrance may keep its throne, “a think of beauty,” and “a joy forever !”
Mr. Weir, the artist, received, as perhaps all your readers know, ten thousand dollars form the government for his picture. This sum he invested, entire, for the use of his three beautiful children . Alas for his poor hear, his poet heart ! It was his lot to survive them all. When they were dead, a sentiment of religious delicacy prevented his appropriating this fortune, which reverted to him from his children. We can all understand the feeling ; it is the same which keeps sacred the wardrobe of the little lost darling, through the widowed mother must toil the later, of a winter’s night, to clothe here younger children ; the same that guards untouched, in the old homestead, the library and the laboratory, now useless, of the dead student, through hist sturdy brothers must labor the harder through the long summer days, to redeem the holy extravagance. But the bereaved father bethought him of a worthy use, to which he would consecrate this ownership, sanctified by their brief inheritance. Having chosen a lovely, mountain-shadowed knoll, in a rural village by the Hudson, he built thereon a commodious house of worship, which he named the “Church of the Holy Innocents.” Other children, who should at the font be baptized into His name, who was the friend of children ; priests, who should at that altar take “vows of God” upon them ; lovers, who should there promise to each other a lifetime of mutual help and mutual love ; the dead, over whose clay the solemn words of burial, “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” should there be spoken ; these were to be the legatees of the artist’s children.
Is it not a “touching poem,” this offering which love and grief have had on the altar of faith and charity ?
It is easy to believe these children must have been fair and lovely ; and, with the image of Rose Standish in our thoughts, to fancy their mother most beautiful and good. Indeed, I cannot conceive the artist could have painted such a face, except as the portrait, in form or in soul, of the woman that he loved. For it is not a sister’s, nor a daughter’s face, –there is something widely different in the tender meanings clustering around that beautiful mouth, and in the earnest, — oh! that word is week ! the intense devotion and truthfulness of those wonderful, upward-glancing eyes. It needs not the manly figure by her side, nor the familiar touch of her slender hand upon his shoulder, to tell us that Rose Standish is a bride.
Mr. Weir’s church, half buried in summer foliage, when we saw it, is a beautiful specimen of rural architecture, and its bell has a tone very musical and sweet. This is as we should have chosen. Let beauty and melody hang the garland and the lyre over the “high places” hallowed by the affections, –let them adorn and dignify the altars where the tender voices of religion and desire whisper hopefully of a reunion. It is their true apostleship on earth.

th

MY MOTHER.

I am lucky enough to have in my personal library a book entitled ‘The Mourner’s Friend or Sighs of Sympathy For Those Who Sorrow’. It is a collection of prose and verse compiled to give comfort to the grieving. Edited by J.B. Syme, published in 1852 by S.A. Howland in Worcester, Mass, USA; its contents are by American and European authors and some surprising famous names. My copy of the book has some water damage, ageing paper, and precarious binding, so before it deteriorates my project to preserve the words of the authors will find its way here on the MOLAM blog. 

MY MOTHER.

I THINK of thee, my mother, in my sad and lonely hours,
And the thought of thee comes o’er me, as the breath of
summer flowers.
Like the haze upon the ocean, the zephyr on the lea,
As the fragrant air of evening, is the thought of thee to
me.

I dream I hear thy voice, mother, and see thy gentle
smile,
It cheers me in my waking hours, and keeps my lips from
Guile ;
For oft when sin had lured me erring feet astray,
I’ve thought I heard thee, pointing thy child the better
way.

But many a tear has passed, mother, since, numbered with
the dead,
They placed thy lovely form, mother, within earth’s clay-
cold bed.
And many a change has come upon thy little ones, since
there
They bowed in speechless agony, and breathed their
orphan prayer.

I miss thee more each year, mother; I miss thee more
to-night,
As thoughts of thee rush o’er my soul, with vivid mem-
ory’s might;
The death-bed and the mourning friends, the last farewell
and kiss,
Are present, as if scarce an hour had passed since that and
this.

A child may soon forget her grief; the very stroke whose
power
Has robbed her of some priceless gem, is fleeting as the
hour.
Oft in thy room, my merry feet have sought some place
to hide,
Nor thought, amid my childish glee, ‘t was there my
mother died.

In death, thy child was placed within thine aged mother’s
arms,
For sure thou wast that she would keep thy darling from
all harms ;
And faithfully she cherished her, that nature good and
mild,
for the love she bore thee, mother, was lavished on thy
child.

But soon she passed away, mother; God claimed her as
his own,
‘Twas meet that she should pass to him, yet it left us sad
and lone.
And when they all were weeping, they little daughter wept,
But it all seemed strange to me, mother; I thought she
only slept.

She slept the sleep of death, mother; and they laid her in
her grave,
And the long grass grows about it, and the wild flowers
gently wave
O’er the head of the loved sleeper, whose spirit is at rest,
In the bosom of her Saviour, in the mansions of the blessed.

Victorian carved Whitby jet mourning brooch for a lost mother.

Victorian carved Whitby jet mourning brooch for a lost mother.

http://www.rubylane.com/item/596915-PT00222/Victorian-Whitby-Jet-Mourning-brooch