Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Epitaph: My steadfast heart

The sandstone marker at the grave of Philanda Crumb (d. 1845) shows signs of weathering, but so far remains easy to read.

Still, it is not impossible to imagine the day when another graveyard visitor looks at the stone and passes by because it is no longer legible.

wife of
died July 23,
Aged 21 years
11 mo. 17 ds.
My lifted eye without a tear,
The gathering storm shall see.
My steadfast heart shall know no fear,
That heart will rest on thee.
The source of this epitaph is somewhat unusual: It was written by a woman! Helen Maria Williams (b. 1761, d. 1827) was a British novelist, poet, and translator of French-language works.

While Thee I seek, protecting Power,
Be my vain wishes stilled;
And may this consecrated hour
With better hopes be filled.

Thy love the power of thought bestowed;
To Thee my thoughts would soar:
Thy mercy o’er my life has flowed;
That mercy I adore.

In each event of life, how clear
Thy ruling hand I see!
Each blessing to my soul more dear,
Because conferred by Thee.

In every joy that crowns my days,
In every pain I bear,
My heart shall find delight in praise,
Or seek relief in prayer.

When gladness wings my favored hour,
Thy love my thoughts shall fill;
Resigned, when storms of sorrow lower,
My soul shall meet Thy will.

My lifted eye, without a tear,
The gathering storm shall see:
My steadfast heart shall know no fear;
That heart will rest on Thee.

William. S. Crumb and Philanda Case were married on March 10, 1842 in Delaware County, Ohio. Both are buried in Williamsville Cemetery.

From FamilySearch.org
Williamsville Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

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