The Sermon was over; the funeral psalm chanted brokenly, by reason of quick-drawn sobs, and bursts of tender remembrance; the heart's tribute to the memory of the departed. "The services will be concluded at the grave," pronounced the clergyman in an unwilling voice; and a shuddering awe fell, as it ever does, upon all. "The Grave!" Even in the presence of the sheeted dead, listening to the rehearsal of excellences lost to earth,—set as living stars in a firmament of unchanging splendor;—we cannot comprehend the dread reality of bereavement. Earth smiles the same; familiar faces surround us; and if the absence of one is painfully noted, the soul would fain delude itself with the belief that his departure is not forever;—"he is not dead, but sleepeth." But "the Grave!" These two words convey an irrevocable sentence. We feel for the first time the extent of the gulf that separates us from the clay, beloved, although inanimate; the dissevering of every bond of companionship. For us the earth has, as before, its griefs, its joys and its duties;—for the dear one—but a grave! The story of a life is ended there. The bearers advanced and took up the coffin. They were no hired officials, performing their work with ill-concealed indifference, or faces robed in borrowed lugubriousness; but old family servants, who had sported with the deceased in infancy; faithfully served her in later years, and had now solicited and obtained this mournful privilege.

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