Saturday, February 4, 2012

Epitaph: Death has been here

Steps away from the grave of an older Jacob Colflesh is the grave of Jacob L. Colflesh (d. 1847).

Are they father and son? Are they related in some other way? For now, I will leave their relationship to a descendant to confirm.

son of

Dec. 18, 1847,
Aged 17
Y’s 10 mo’s
26 d’s.
Death has been here, and bourn away,
  A brother from our side;
Just in the morning of his days,
  A blooming youth he died.

The epitaph is adapted from the first verse of a hymn written by English poet Jane Taylor (b. 1783, d. 1824). This hymn was often published in Sunday school hymnals for children.

Death has been here, and borne away
A [sister]* from our side:
Just in the morning of [her]† days,
As young as we, [she]‡ died.

Not long ago [she] fill’d [her] place,
And sat with us to learn;
But [she] has run [her] mortal race,
And never can return.

Perhaps our time may be as short,
Our days may fly as fast;
O Lord, impress the solemn thought,
That this may be our last.

We cannot tell who next may fall
Beneath Thy chast’ning rod:
One must be first: oh, may we all
Prepare to meet our God.

All needful help is Thine to give;
To Thee our souls apply
For grace to teach us how to live,
And make us fit to die.

* Or, brother.    † Or, his.    ‡ Or, he. 

By the way, Jane Taylor’s most famous work is “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Liberty Church Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio


  1. Fantastic info, Amy. I just love how you give so much background!


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