Monday, February 20, 2006

Living "sub specie aeternitatis"

Some of you asked me to "post" this photograph and text of a gravestone for three brothers who died in infancy within a week of each other. Two were evidently twins. I referred to it last night in the sermon as an example of how a former generation lived "in the light of eternity". The text is difficult to read in places, but the gist of it is as follows:

Here lies the bodies of three brothers
Sons of Richard and Mary Savage
Who were interred within ten days
***** to this stone
August 31 1784 aged 7 years, 3 Mo. 10 days
1784 aged 3 years 6 months
Sept 9 1784 aged 3 years 6 months
Beneath the surface of the turfed earth
Enwrapped in silence and the arms of death
Exposed to Worms he’s three once charming Boy
The Fathers Comfort and the Mothers Joy
These youths at once fair fruit and Blossoms bore
Much in possession in expectance more
Twou’d grieve you tender reader to relate
The hasty strides of unrelenting fate
Dire decree at human art was vain
The power of medicine failed the healing train
But happy youths by death made truly great
Had life been lengthened to its utmost date
What had they known but sorrow Pain and woe
The Curse entailed on Adam’s race below
They’re only safe who through death’s gates have passed
And reached those joys that evermore will last
Now vain is man How fluttering are his joys
Which what one moment gives the next destroys
Hope and Despair fill up his round of Life
And all his joys are One continual strife.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you have the ages wrong.

I made a trip to Charleston this past weekend and was able to take photos of the grave.

The stone states:
John Clifford Savage died
August 31, 1784, aged 10 (isn't the roman numeral for 10 an X?) years, 5 months, 7 days
William Savage September 8th
1784, aged 3 years, 6 months
Dandridge Richard Savage
September 9, 1784, aged 5 years, 6 months, 6 days

Just an FYI...