The Cornell Cemetery, Far Rockaway

by William S. Pettit

This article (courtesy of Robin Greenberg Johnson) was first published in the periodical
"Long Island Forum", August, 1946
Glimpse of the Cornell Burying Ground at Far Rockaway from Photo by Leslie Elhoff, taken in May 1946. "Beneath the rubbish," writes Mr. Elhoff, "lie the the remains of people who once owned all of Far Rockaway."
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire,
Hands that the rod of empire might have sway'd
Or waked to ecstasy with living lyre.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care;
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike th' inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

IN THE midst of a world of tumult and trouble, a visit to the small cemetery back of the Postal Cable Building on Greenwood Avenue, Far Rockaway, might put one in a philosophical and peaceful frame of mind. Here lie the earthly remains of those who, in their day, worried and fretted over problems and troubles which to them were as serious, or more serious, than those which concern us today. Their lives, as well as their fortunes, were often at stake.

- 1 -