Sunday, August 09, 2009

I was reading in my book Treasures New and Old, when I came upon a chapter of epitaphs.
There are quotes taken from the tombs of children, men and women. Some of them really got to me. If you have ever strolled in an old cemetery and read tombstones you know how sobering it is. These speak to those who have left an indelible imprint on the lives of those left behind.

The first, and the shortest on a tomb named "Nellie" -
"She flung but one shadow, and that only when she died."
That short epitaph is fleshed out further in this one on A.B.P.'s tomb --

"Thy greeting smile was pledge and prelude
of generous deeds and kindly words;
In thy large heart were fair guest-chambers,
Open to sunrise and the birds;
The task was thine to mould and fashion
Life's plastic newness into grace;
To make the boyish heart heroic,
and light with thought the maiden's face."

I just love that, her greeting smile was a pledge of goodness to come; what a wonderful thing to say about someone. And what a heritage, to inspire the young to heroism and enlightenment.

And this line from a tomb simply inscribed H.B. - "The friend of man, to vice alone a foe
'For e'en his failings lean'd to virtue's side."


I'll leave off with this tender epitaph about "Lottie" -

"Ah, can we live and bear to miss,
Out of our lives, this life how rare?
Tender, so tender! an angel's kiss
Hallowed it daily unaware;
Gracious as sunshine, sweet as dew
Shut in a lily's golden core,
Fragrant with goodness through and through,
Pure as the spikenard Mary bore;
Holy as twilight, soft as dawn,
She has gone."

Photo of "Asleep in Christ" from the Internet.

145 comments:

Trudy said...

That last one is hauntingly beautiful. I will have to pay more attention the next time we visit my mother-in-laws gravesite!

God bless you Fred!

Bluebirdy said...

Fred, would you please go to my comment page and click "email me"? I need to ask you something privately about your "line upon line" comment. Please remind me in the email, or I will forget. Painfog is so frustrating. Thtanks
Blessings
Sheila

Danielle&Hannah said...

Hi Fred,

We have said goodbye to a few dear friends in Christ recently. How splendid would our meaningful life be if these words could be on our stone: "In thy large heart were fair guest-chambers"
What a blessing to know that one could feel like a 'guest' - so much more meaningful than a 'visitor'.

Cheers!

Danielle :)

FCB said...

Hi Trudy,
It is hauntingly beautiful isn't it.
I suspect it was the loss of a child but not positive.
I'm drawn to these kind of thoughts because I lost nearly all of my family when pretty young, dad at 41, mom at 56. My grandparents all died when I was under 12 and by the time I was thirty all aunts and uncles were gone as well. I do have one relative left, my father's brother, but sadly I was never that close to him. Anyway, I suppose I am somewhat of a melancholy and death strikes a sensitive chord in me.
God bless,
Fred


Will do Sheila, look forward to it.
Fred


Hi Danielle,
That line you wrote is so descriptive isn't it. And sadly I often feel like a guest, hope people won't say that about me.
Good to hear from you,
Fred

Mel said...

Ah, to live a life that would inspire someone to remember that life with such beautiful words, inscribed in stone to last for hundreds of years. Fabulous quotes, Fred, and very powerful to draw our attention towards the important things. I've missed you and your blog. It's always so refreshing to come back here.

Many blessings,
Mel

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