27 May 2011

Ascend, My Son! (Today's Epitaph)

Feb 14, 1830
May 7, 1896

Ascend, my son! thy
Father's Kingdom

Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum

Aside from the clasped hands, a neat feature of Mr. Sparks' tombstone is the epitaph. The phrase beginning with Ascend, my son! is from an elegy written by William Cowper about 1748.

An elegy is a mournful, melancholic or plaintive poem, especially when a funeral song or a lament for the dead. William Cowper penned this "Elegy III on the death of the Bishop of Winchester" when he was seventeen years old. The line following the one inscribed on the tombstone of G. T. Sparks is henceforth be freed from every care.

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