Julia Perkins Pratt Ballard, writing as “Kruna,” was a very popular poet who published dozens of poems between 1860 and 1867 in the pages of Robert Merry’s Museum.

“The Two Burials,” by Julia Perkins Pratt Ballard (from Robert Merry’s Museum, November 1867; pp. 147-148)

[In reading the Life of Abraham Lincoln, one is forcibly struck by the contrast in the burial of his mother—alone, in an unbroken forest, in a rude, homemade box, with no funeral service, and scarcely a witness outside of the family—and the unparalleled magnificence of the national funeral of her noble son a few years later.]

In the cool, unbroken shadow,

Where the fragile wild-flowers nod,

Dreamily above the sleeper

Laid beneath the forest sod,

Lonely in their grief they bore her,

With no sound of tolling bell;

Ah! the sob of crushed affection

Was the mother’s funeral-knell.

Never had that grand old forest

Echoed to the sexton’s spade;

First, within its sheltering bosom,

Was that noble mother laid.

Lonely sleeper! he whose footsteps

Wore a path to that lone mound—

Who with tears so oft bedewed it—

That same sleep too quickly found.

p. 148

Borne along, in bitter anguish,

List the solemn-toiling bell;

Northern lakes to Southern waters

Echoed back his funeral-knell.

Tolling! in the quiet village,

Tolling! in the myriad throng,

Tolling! through the mountain gorges,

As his form was borne along;

Tolling for the sorrow welling

From a sudden, awful blow;

Tolling for the anguish swelling

From a nation’s bitter woe!

Lonely dust within the forest,

Sleeper, where above the sod

Millions raised the speaking marble,

Rest alike, beloved of God.


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