A Grammarian's Funeral

Charles J. Connick Associates, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

Central on a wall of three windows in the Hankamer Treasure Room is a dominant window devoted to the magnificent theme of "A Grammarian's Funeral." The speaker of the poem is a disciple of an accomplished grammarian who has recently died. A choir of disciples bears the body of their master to its appropriate burial place, the citadel on the highest mountain peak, amid a rain of meteors, lightning, and circling stars.

The foliated branches of the Tree of Knowledge, enriching the field, outline medallion shapes of standing scholarly figures who hold scrolls and pens--each scroll inscribed with Shakespeare's familiar heraldic symbol, the spear, in recognition of the donor's attainments in Shakespearean research. The Tree of Knowledge further flowers in lovely little rosettes in which sparkling nuggets of rare old Sandwich Glass are introduced.

Beside the standing figures are four studious young people, while Rhetoric, Dialectic, Geometry, and Arithmetic are inscribed on scrolls held by kneeling figures in the four corners of the window.

Additional symbols in the border are (at the top), the lash, a traditional emblem of grammar; and inscribed on open books (at the sides), the first letters of the alphabet ABC, accompanied by DE, HOTI and OUN (Greek particles that present difficulty for students: De = towards; Hoti = that; Oun = therefore). Fittingly, the word "Grammar" is centrally featured in the window.

Please note when viewing the window: the stained glass artisans had difficulty with the Greek particles as well--inserting OUM, rather than OUN.

Window - Grammarians Funeral 2

Excerpt from Robert Browning's
"A Grammarian's Funeral"

All the peaks soar, but one the rest excels;
   Clouds overcome it;
No! yonder sparkle is the citadel's
   Circling its summit.
Thither our path lies; wind we up the heights;
   Wait ye the warning?
Our low life was the level's and the night's;
   He's for the morning.
Step to a tune, square chests, erect each head,
   'Ware the beholders!
This is our master, famous, calm and dead,
   Borne on our shoulders.

Stars come and go! Let joy break with the storm,
Peace let the dew send!
Lofty designs must close in like effects:
Loftily lying,
Leave him--still loftier than the world suspects,
Living and dying.

In memoriam Charles William Wallace, 1865 - 1932
Distinguished Scholar and Author

Gift of Dr. Huldah A. Berggren Wallace