Parmly Funeral

Parmly Billings' Funeral Service

Woodstock, Vermont, May 12, 1888

After a brief private service in the library of the Billings mansion, where Parmly's body had rested since its arrival, the public service was held in the beautiful chapel attached to the Congregational Church erected by Frederick in memory of his father and mother. Rev. Brodie, the pastor, read selections of scripture, after which the choir sang one of Parmly's favorite hymns, Art thou weary, art thou languid?

Following the hymn, President Seelye of Amherst College spoke:

I loved this young man, whose light has so suddenly ceased to shine upon us, and whose earthly tenement we are to take to the tomb. He won my affection from the first moment I saw him. And he wound himself around my heart more and more tenderly and closely the longer I knew him.

Ardent, impetuous, with a wonderful intensity of life, irksome of restraint, and sometimes breaking out beyond all control, like a river too full for its channel, there burned in his soul a passion for great things.

University of Vermont President Buckham then offered a prayer, and the exercises closed by the singing of "I Would Not Live Alway." Later at the cemetery, Buckham alluded to a remarkable letter written by Parmly to a dear friend four years before, in which he had, in a tender and prophetic Sabbath evening mood, anticipated the present scene, foreseeing himself laid to rest and sleeping years away in this lovely spot, amid the soft green hills of Woodstock, the Quechee River flowing gently at his feet.

Music Tracks:
Track 1