Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Voices from the Past

I find the solemn eloquence of old tombstones haunting.

Inscription: Sacred To the Memory of Elizabeth. Daughter of JOHN & ELLEN SMITH. Born 11th December 1845. And while in the enjoyment of blooming health and in the exercise of infant playfulness, she was on the 19th of March 1847, suddenly, as in the twinkling of an eye, snatched from the fond embrace of her Earthly Parents and translated into the gracious presence and endearment of him who said, Suffer little children to come unto me. [Smaller text unreadable in the photograph, and I didn't write it down when I was there].

Inscription: O glorious Flag, O righteous Cause! O glorious Struggle to be free! O glorious Sleeper thou wast proved, A Soldier fit to follow LEE.

(Disclaimer: this headstone lies in North Carolina, hence the message. I'm not condoning it, just photographing it.)


Patrick said...

Hello, Jason! I found your journal through Kira's "Loving Twilight."

I feel the same way about old tombstones. The language of the inscriptions is sort of like a time capsule in a way.

When I find a cemetary with really old markers, I can't resist the temptation to walk around and browse a bit.

Anonymous said...

I love old tombstones, Jason. Thanks for the blog.

Mac said...

I feel the same way about old tombstones, Jason. Thanks for the pics, and the quiet moment reading the inscriptions.

Bernita said...

It is an odd thing,
this sudden constriction of the throat,
and sometimes tears, on reading, among the stone inscriptions:
"Lieut. George Paget Owen Fenwick, youngest son
killed in action
Passchendale 1917"
"Harry Crawford
d. 14 Apr 1915
ae 15 years
a student of Kings College
and member of Canadian Motorcycle Corps."
Like an arrow out of the dark and years
I hear the guns on the wind.

Thank you. Appreciated your comments on another blog regarding mixed genre writing.

Daniel Heath said...

those are fantastic. I love the language.

thanks for stopping by ect@2am, by the way.