As the autumnal shades deepen and memories of the haunted past surge and rise from the depths of despair, I offer pearls of eternal wisdom to set in your corroding crowns of earthly joy.
(favorite passages: Scenes From Beyond the Grave published in 1865 by Marietta Davis)
The Abode of the Lost
Suddenly a sable veil of nether night appeared to ascend, pervading, and encompassing my being. My inner doubt seemed wrought into a cloud that shut out the upper glory, and the spirit of denial plunged me into the vortex of a deeper gloom. I fell as one precipitated from some dizzy height. The embodiment of darkness opened to receive me. The moving shadow of a more desolate abyss arose like clouds in dense masses of tempestuous gloom; and as I descended, the ever-accumulating weight of darkness pressed more fearfully upon me. At length a nether plain that seemed boundless was imaged upon my sight, which, at a little distance, appeared to be covered with the sparkling semblance of vegetation. Luminous appearances, like waving trees, with resplendent foliage, and flowers and fruits of crystal and of gold, were visible in every direction.
Spirits of the Lost
Multitudes of spirits appeared beneath the umbrage, and luminous mantles were folded about rapidly moving forms. Some wore crowns upon their heads; others tiaras; and others decorations of which I knew not the name, but which appeared to be wrought of clusters of jewels, wreaths of golden coin, and cloth of gold and silver tissue. Others, wore towering helmets; and others circlets filled with glistening and waving plumes. A pale phosphorescence was emitted by every object, and all appeared a splendid masquerade. The apparel worn by these busy myriads corresponded with the ornaments of the head; hence every variety of sumptuous apparel was displayed upon their forms. Kings and queens appeared arrayed in the gorgeous robes of coronation. Groups of nobility of both sexes, also decorated with all the varieties of adornment displayed in the pageantry of kingly courts. Dense multitudes were visible in costume, proper to the highly cultivated nations; and as they passed by, I discovered similar groups composed of less civilized tribes, attired in barbaric ornaments of every form. While some appeared clothed in the habiliments of the present day, others were in ancient attire; but every class of spirits manifested, in the midst of variety of mode, a uniformity of external pride, pomp, and rapidly moving and dazzling luster.