Thursday, September 15, 2011

Epitaph: Triumphant in thy closing eye

Walking through Sunbury Memorial Park on a sunny afternoon, I spied a gravestone with an interesting epitaph and it was signed by the carver. Great find, right?

Not exactly. That’s all I could find of the broken gravestone: Epitaph, carver’s name. No inscription. No willows or urns. No hands or flowers.

No reason to pass it by. After all, I may run into this epitaph or this carver another day in another graveyard.



Triumphant in thy closing eye
The hope of glory shone
Joy breathed in thy expiring sigh
To think the race was run.


The epitaph is taken from a funeral dirge in The Widow of Nain by Thomas Dale (b. 1797, d. 1870), an Anglican clergyman and poet:

Dear as thou wert, and justly dear,
We will not weep for thee;
One thought shall check the starting tear,
It is—that thou art free.
And thus shall Faith’s consoling power
The tears of love restrain;
Oh! who that saw thy parting hour,
Could wish thee here again!

Triumphant in thy closing eye
The hope of glory shone,
Joy breathed in thine expiring sigh,
To think the fight was won.
Gently the passing spirit fled,
Sustained by grave divine:
Oh! may such grace on me be shed,
And make my end like thine!


The stone is signed by B. Glaze from Newark, Ohio. This may be Benjamin Glaze, who lived in Licking County, Ohio during the 1850 Federal census, but who had moved to Iowa by 1870.

The 1870 Federal census lists him as a Marble Agent.
The 1885 Iowa census lists him as a Retired Sto[ne carver? mason?].


Sunbury Memorial Park, Delaware County, Ohio

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