From the Richmond Enquirer,
10/16/1862, p. 2, c. 4
A VISIT TO HOLLYWOOD. –
It is a beautiful feature in the faith of the Catholic, which, on All Saint’s
Day, prompts a visit to the abodes of the dead. Many indeed are the hallowed
memories which on that day are called up in beautiful reality to endear the dust
of those who, when living were beloved and who now, though slumbering in the
narrow house, are revivified by the magic fancies of affection.
A few evenings since we
visited our own beautiful Hollywood. Around, the dead were sepulchred, dreaming the dreams of “that sleep
which knows no waking,” and by our side were the quick, in the lithe elasticity
of youth, or in the “sear and yellow leaf,” dreaming day-dreams as strange and
many tinted as the flowers of which were strewn around by the lingering genius
of the still living love.
In life we know that
there is a double union existing between mind and matter, and consciousness
cannot determine whether or not the dreams of one are ever dependent upon the
state and condition of the other. One, we know, or think we know.
“---- aspires to Heaven,
Pants for its sempiternal heritage,
And ever changing, ever rising still.
Wantons in endless being;
The other for a time, the unwilling sport
Of circumstances and passion, struggles on,
Fleets through its sad duration rapidly,
Then, like a useless and worn out machine,
Rots, perishes and passes.”
More than a year ago,
this pleasant burial ground was one Elysium of charming plots and beautiful
monuments. Scarcely a grave was without its marble and its light of laughing
flowers. Now through its northwestern expanse the yellow earth rises in thickly
folding billows over dead roses of chivalry, from every State, aye, almost every
town and village in the South. The same feelings of sadness arise, but not in
the same train of retrospective musing, when we contemplate these bare and
melancholy graves, emblems of that victory which death brings to the soldier in
the midst of war, the victory of an everlasting peace. No canopied and perfumed
couch comes up in the imagined picture of the soldier’s death, but we are apt to
see instead all that can make misery more wretched and death itself more welcome
than the light of day.
Gentle and affectionate
hearts, men in the first full glow of health and youth, the soul of honor and of
patriotism, blessed with friends and fortune, and sustained to the last, with an
unfaltering hope, sleep there; and when they lay down, no friend was near, no
fortune brought them the care and kindness of the home’s affection, and no hope
of home again shone in the brightness of its realization upon their blanching
brows and sinking hearts.
It is indeed sad to
pass through this quarter of Hollywood. All that was can suggest and peace foreshadow, floats like a vision over
each turfless grave.
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