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Shore Waves

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Shore Waves
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Fall 1999 and Revised 2 Jul 2004

George Denison Prentice of Louisville, KY, distinguished writer and poet, a descendant of Valentine Prentice, and a distant cousin of mine, elequently expressed the thought that in the midst of life we are in death. In the busy affairs of active life, we are apt to lose sight of the fact that we, too, must one day die, as all the dead of ages past have done before.

There is something inexpressibly lonely in the thought that absolute forgetfulness among men follows our departure from this life. In the long future, the mass of those who have lived will have no more remembrance among men than if they had never had an existence at all. Of the millions who live, and have lived, in this nation, there are not 100 whom the world will care to remember a century hence.

George Denison Prentice has told the whole story, so beautifully and so truly that I cannot refrain from reproducing it here:

                             Alone I walk the ocean strand;
                            A pearly shell was in my hand.
                           I stooped and wrote upon the sand,
                             My name, the year, the day.
                           And onward from the spot I passed,
                           One lingering look behind I cast --
                           A wave came rolling high and fast
                             And washed my lines away.

                           And so, I thought, it soon will be
                            With everything on earth of me;
                             A wave of dark, oblivious sea
                              Will roll across the place,
                           Where I have trod the sandy shore
                           Of Time, and been to be no more.
                             Nor leave no track nor trace,
                           But with Him who counts the sands
                           And holds the waters in His hands,
                             I know a lasting record stands
                             Inscribed against my name.    

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