This file has been made available by the Bank of Wisdom.
Robert Green Ingersoll
A TRIBUTE TO MRS. IDA WHITING KNOWLES. New York, Dec. 16, 1887. MY FRIENDS: Again we stand in the shadow of the great mystery -- a shadow as deep and dark as when the tears of the first mother fell upon the pallid face of her lifeless babe -- a mystery that has never yet been solved. We have met in the presence of the sacred dead, to speak a word of praise, of hope, of consolation. Another life of love is now a blessed memory -- a lingering strain of music. The loving daughter, the pure and consecrated wife, the sincere friend, who with tender faithfulness discharged the duties of a life, has reached her journey's end. A braver, a more serene, a more chivalric spirit -- clasping the loved and by them clasped -- never passed from life to enrich the realm of death. No field of war ever witnessed greater fortitude, more perfect, smiling courage than this poor, weak and helpless woman displayed upon the bed of pain and death. Her life was gentle and her death sublime. She loved the good and all the good loved her. There is this consolation: she can never suffer more; never feel again the chill of death; never part again from those she loves. Her heart can break no more. She has shed her last tear, and upon her stainless brow has been set the wondrous seal of everlasting peace. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 12 A TRIBUTE TO MRS. IDA WHITING KNOWLES. When the Angel of Death -- the masked and voiceless -- enters the door of home, there come with her all the daughters of Compassion, and of these Love and Hope remain forever. You are about to take this dear dust home to the home of her girlhood, and to the place that was once my home. You will lay her with neighbors whom I have loved, and who are now at rest. You will lay her where my father sleeps. "Lay her i' the earth, And from her fair and unpolluted flesh May violets spring." I never knew, I never met, a braver spirit than the one that once inhabited this silent form of dreamless clay. END
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