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George Burgess
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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Culture and Life


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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

Farewell“FAREWELL,” said a little child, as she folded the white wings of her dead dove and laid it down within a tiny grave which her own hand had made beneath a rose tree. “Farewell,” said a noble youth, as he left his native land to gaze upon the grandeur of a distant country. “Farewell,” said the man of wealth, as his vast possessions flew from his grasp like a meteor from the brow of night. “Farewell,” said a stricken mother, as she closed the eyes of her sweet darling, and pressed one long last kiss upon its holy brow, then laid it away in the street churchyard. “Farewell,” said a youthful lover, as he pressed his lips to the white brow of a beautiful maiden for it had been decreed that he must go far hence as a daring soldier to the battle-field. “Farewell,” said an old man with snowy hair and wrinkled brow, as he fondly pressed to his bosom his children and their little ones, for he was starting on a journey to that land from whence no traveller returns.

What means this word “farewell” blending in harmony sweetness and melancholy? Why does it fall with such a crushing weight upon the listener’s ear? Why do bright eyes grow dim, and rosy cheeks rival the lily’s whiteness as this momentous word falls from the lips of some long cherished one? Alas! It tells of childhood weeping and its first sorrow; of leaving home and country to seek more happiness, more joy; of poverty and struggles with the cold world; ob beauty fled from earth, while a lonely mourner waters a tine grave with burning tears. If tell to the lone heart a tale of weary months, while a loved one is toiling amid dangers far away; of a vacant chain in the old man’s dwelling. “Farewell” is the language of earth. In the bright morning I have gazed upon a beauteous flower, but ere the eventide it has passed away for ever. In the calm hours of night my spirit has been lulled by some bright dream, but with the night, gorgeously bright, are the dreams with which we have decked the future; but when the time approached in which to test their reality, we behold that, vision-like, they have departed.

Partings and farewells cast their shadows all along life’s pathway; but they tell us there is a land –

Where farewell tears no more are shed,
Where all the ties now riven
Shall be united once again –
And that happy land is Heaven.

And sometime my strange heart aspires
Within that home to dwell,
Where all shall sing an angel’s song,
Where none can say – farewell.