22 August 2010

Warm Southern Wind, Blow Softly Here

Today's epitaph was found on the ledger marker for Catherine Cobb Fohl (1868-1949) in Evergreen Cemetery at Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia:

Warm Summer Sun, Shine Kindly Here;
Warm Southern Wind, Blow Softly Here;
Bright Stars Above, Shine Light, Shine Light;
Good Night, Dear Heart, Good Night, Good Night.

The verse above is an "adaptation of an adaptation." The most referenced work is that of Mark Twain. The verse was put as an epitaph on the tombstone of his daughter Olivia Clemens with a different third line. It read, "Green sod above, lie light, lie light."

Mark Twain's verse was adapted from the original poem of Robert Richardson entitled "Annette." The final verse:

"Warm summer sun, shine friendly here
Warm western wind, blow kindly here;
Green sod above, rest light, rest light,
Good-night, Annette!
Sweetheart, good-night!"

More information about the eulogy to Olivia Susan Clemens can be found here.

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