Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Lily

The marker at the grave of Lucina Clark (d. 1876) shows a beautifully carved lily, held by a pointing hand.

The lily is most often understood to represent innocence and purity; the pointing hand, a reference to Heaven. The small shell above the hand-and-lily carving is symbolic of resurrection and pilgrimage. Together these symbols declare that Lucina Clark has traveled to her rightful place in Heaven.

N.S. Clark,
June 20, 1876
In the 27 year of her age

There is an epitaph as well, but the weathering on the stone has made the tiny letters impossible to read—in this light at any rate.

In place of an epitaph, I offer a William Blake (b. 1757, d. 1827) poem, “The Lily.”

This is for you, Mrs. Clark:

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat’ning horn:
While the Lily white shall in love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.

Westfield Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, Morrow County, Ohio

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