Skip to main content

Death, Rigid Lord, Hath Claimed the Lifeless Clay (Today's Epitaph)

Photo © 2013 S. Lincecum
Martha, daughter of George and Martha S. Walker, was born 4 November 1828. She died less than twenty-one years later on 25 May 1849. "She was amiable, pious, and beloved in her life, and deeply lamented in her death."

Another portion of Martha's epitaph on her tombstone at Walker Cemetery in Bleckley County, Georgia reads, "Death, rigid Lord, hath claimed the lifeless clay; While joyously the youthful soul hath gone to take its heritage."

I found this same couplet in a book entitled New Cyclopaedia of Poetical Illustrations (pub 1872). The book was divided into categories, and the above lines were part of a writing by M. F. Tupper under "DEATH, Physical." I found it interesting, if a bit graphic:

Martha Walker tombstone, © 2013 S. Lincecum
Death is here in spirit, watcher of a marble corpse,
That eye is fixed, that heart is still, -- how dreadful in its stillness!
Death, new tenant of the house, pervadeth all the fabric;
He waiteth at the head, and he standeth at the feet, and hideth in the caverns of the breast:
Death, subtle leech, hath anatomized soul from body,
Dissecting well in every nerve its spirit from its substance:
Death, rigid lord, hath claimed the heliot clay,
While joyously the youthful soul hath gone to take his heritage:
Death, cold usurer, hath seized his bonded debtor;
Death, savage despot, hath caught his forfeit serf;
Death, blind foe, wreaketh petty vengeance on the flesh:
Death, fell cannibal, gloateth on his victim,
And carrieth it with him to the grave, that dismal banquet-hall,
Where in foul state the Royal Ghoul holdeth secret orgies.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Rocks, Rocks, and More Rocks

Why do people put rocks on grave stones? Some time ago, I learned that the rocks signified a visitor. That is true enough, but I decided to learn a little more about the custom and share my findings with you.

Putting rocks on tombstones is most often described as a Jewish custom. There are many "Ask a Rabbi" columns out there, but I did not find one that knew for sure where the custom originated. They all agreed, however, that a rock symbolized a visitor and when put on a tombstone said, "I remember you." I also read that some people pick up a rock wherever they are when they think of a person that has passed. Then, the next time they visit the grave, they place the rock to say, "I wish you were here."

Rabbi Shraga Simmons offers a deeper meaning: "We are taught that it is an act of ultimate kindness and respect to bury someone and place a marker at the site. After a person is buried, of course, we can no longer participate in burying them. Howe…

Southern Cross of Honor

I'm late to this discussion, but it's one I'd like to join. :-) Terry Thornton at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country started with Grave Marker Symbols: The Southern Cross of Honor and UCV (link no longer available). Judith Shubert at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Covered Bridges continued with Hood County Texas: C.S.A. Veterans & Southern Cross of Honor Symbol. [UPDATE, 1 June 2009: Judith has moved this post to the blog, Cemeteries with Texas Ties. The link has been corrected to reflect this move. You may also link to her article via her nice comment on this post.]

Wikipedia states:
The Southern Cross of Honor was a military decoration meant to honor the officers, noncommissioned officers, and privates for their valor in the armed forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. It was formally approved by the Congress of the Confederate States on October 13, 1862, and was originally intended to be on par with the Union Army's Me…

Thursday Link Love: EyeWitness To History

Yesterday, a link was added to the Genealogy Research Resources Group at Diigo. The link was to the website titled EyeWitness to History.com: History through the eyes of those who lived it. It's a great site, and I encourage all to visit it.

Here are several items I found while snooping around.

- Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944: "Hitler established the first concentration camp soon after he came to power in 1933. The system grew to include about 100 camps divided into two types: concentration camps for slave labor in nearby factories and death camps for the systematic extermination of "undesirables" including Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally retarded and others."

- Crash of the Hindenburg, 1937: "Radio reporter Herbert Morrison, sent to cover the airship's arrival, watched in horror. His eye witness description of the disaster was the first coast-to-coast radio broadcast and has become a classic piece of audio history." [You can really …


blog.SouthernGraves.net

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)