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     St. Stephen's Parish  Plantations
 
     In my frequent rambles amid these now deserted plantations, I often stop to gaze on the ruins which present themselves to my view. I feel lost in painful wonder at the utter desolation of these places: not a living soul is there; not a living thing that I can see. Not a sigh, not a whisper, not a sound of life comes from these ruins. The silence of death is everywhere. Not even the wail of a bird of prey reaches me through these shattered walls. There is nothing but ruin everywhere. Not a bird of good or evil omen sits upon these fragments. Not a wild beast haunts these ruins. All is still, and silent, and lifeless. I sit upon a fallen tree or a heap of broken bricks, and look with a saddened heart upon this scene of desolation; and I wonder what has become of all who once lived here-the good,  the wicked, the beautiful, the gay. How lived they; how died they? Are all their deeds buried with them? and is nothing left but the brief record of others?  Was happiness within these walls? Did those who dwelt within them feel as we do, who now look upon these ruins? Did they too look back upon the past and forward to the future, and then turn to dust at last, feed the worms of the earth, and nourish the weeds that cover it? Are these masses of ruins all that they have left to bear witness of their lives? In the graveyard, the resting-place of the dead, there is only the gloom of death. Silence is becoming there; it is what we naturally expect. But here, in the abiding-place of men, where was once the din of busy life, we have now the silence of death, and more than its gloom. For these walls were meant for the living, but now no living soul dwells within them. 
 
Samuel DuBose