Sunday, May 11, 2014

"[The grave of Mr. David Strain on Mount Olivet]" by Mrs. A. M. Nelson (1845)

        [Visiting a few days since the Albany Cemetery, and while admiring the rich and varied scenery on Mount Olivet, at the grave of Mr. DAVID STRAIN, eldest son of Mr. Joseph Strain, of this city, he being the first interred in those grounds, circumstances connected with the death of this worthy young man, gave rise to the following stanzas :]


Sleep on, beloved, the evening winds

        Seem wooing thee to rest,

Waking low murmurs such as those

        In worlds more pure and blest.

Nature unlocked her matchless store

        To deck this hallowed ground

With waving trees, and wreathing vines,

        And brooks of gurgling sound.

Sleep on, it seems but yesterday

        Thou wert in foreign lands,

Where thou wert met by glowing hearts,

        And more than friendly hands

When all the spells their love had tried

        Could not thy health restore,

Weary and faint, you dared the sea,

        To reach thy home once more.

'T is meet that thou shouldst be the first

        In this romantic spot;

If worth can merit aught on earth,

        Thou canst not be forgot.

Long, long affection's friendly hand

        Shall guard this sacred mound;

The sun's first beam shall gild the spot

        Thy monument has crowned.

Thou wert the first, and who would shrink

        To calmly rest with thee?

The young, the learned, the beautiful,

        Will thy companions be.

They come, they come, a silent band,

        In snowy vestments drest,

Their pale hands folded meekly now,

        Upon each peaceful breast.

Yet while surprised the mental eye,

        Surveys the breathless train,

Religion, bending from the skies,

        Whispers, they'll rise again;

Rich in that hope, I leave thy grave,

        Believing thou wilt rise,

Robed in immortal bloom, an heir

        Of mansions in the skies.

                                [Albany Atlas

Albany Argus. November 4, 1845: 2 col 1.

David Strain (1824-1844)

Phelps, Henry P. The Albany Rural Cemetery: Its Beauties Its Memories. Albany, NY: Phelps and Kellogg, 1893. 13.

The Strain family's monument isn't actually on Mount Olivet, though. It's a ways north of that on Landscape Hill.

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