Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/369

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Brilliant Eulogy on General W. H. Payne.

From no doomed cathedral ever floated purer sorrow than from this choir nestled in the hills. A noble life's music, the music of his own life, rose with it and breathed from it. It was a requiem which swept with tears the eyes of warlike men. His Black Horse Troop—all that was left of them—followed him for the last time to his last rest. The flags of Virginia and the Confederacy, and his old gray coat, were wrapt about his bier like the Highland Plaids around Dundee. Over his open grave there bowed the genuine lament which a life of integrity and intrepidity commands. It more witness to the unfading lustre of the Spartan borne upon his shield. The Valhalla of the warlike is his home. The company of all true knights shall call him comrade. Each brave, each courteous, spirit will be there. If the pure in heart shall see God, he is face to face with his Maker.

It is then my privilege to be your medium to accept the portrait of this officer and gentleman, this jurist, this Virginian. It has been painted for you by an artist of his own beloved Warrenton, one who knew and loved him; whose aim, in this, as in all other work, has been to paint the truth. It has been presented to you by the companion of his courage and his heart. I accept it as the portrait of one who, in the words placed upon his tomb, was, in war and in peace, the soldier of Virginia's honor. I accept it as the portrait of one worthy to shine in the firmament of your renown. He is entitled to share the fame who was ever more than ready to share the fate of the bravest in the brunt.