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Good Words 1860
Skeleton Leaves

In my rambles one evening I found a bunch of skeleton leaves, whose beauty attracted my admiring gaze. Each leaf was perfect in form and fibre, yet utterly devoid of sap; lifeless in its delicate, transparent loveliness, and soon to crumble into dust. The more minutely I looked at them, the more beauties did I see unfolding to my pensive gaze. "Beautiful are ye in death!" mused I to myself; "ay, more lovely than in your vernal spring-tide."

So have we seen the fragile leaves of humanity more beautiful in death than in the flush of life. And who has not joyed to contemplate that still, calm loveliness—to read in the voiceless, soul-touching eloquence of a last smile an intimation of another and more glorious transformation, an awakening to a sinless, sorrowless, and everlasting existence, whose truth and beauty shall so fill the soul in its marvellous expansion, as to cast into shade all the fairest reminiscences of time and sense? ''The former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Death shall then be swallowed up in victory, and the most beautiful forms of the life that now is in the perfect manifestations of the life that is to come, and in the glory that excelleth all that mortal eyes have ever beheld, or mortal hearts conceived. Oh, to have part in that second resurrection!

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