Tuesday, March 13, 2012

“Lay him low, lay him low”

A handsome marker with a scroll and flowers marks the grave of a young man, James H. Montgomery (d. 1864). It stands solid and straight, though blackened with age.

son of
john & surmantha
Aug. 25, 1864
15 Yrs. 9 Mo.
& 1 Day.
One more buried beneath the sod
One more standing before his God
We should not weep that he has gone
With us tis night with him tis morn.
The epitaph is taken from the poem “The Young Patriot,” which I found in The Rebellion Record, edited by Frank Moore (1865). No author was named.

One more absent,
The battle done;
One more left us,
Victory won.

One more buried
Beneath the sod;
One more standing
Before his God.

Lay him low, lay him low,
Ere the morning break;
Sorrow not, sorrow not,
He minds not heart-ache.

He is one, he is one
Of that noble band
Who have fought, who have died,
For their fatherland.

He needs no tears;
An angel now,
A saintly crown
Upon his brow.

We should not weep
That he is gone;
With us ’tis night,
With him ’tis morn.

Sounds like a soldier’s epitaph, doesn’t it?

Hunt Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio


  1. I find it interesting that so many old stones
    give the persons age right down to the day.
    Probably because the average life span was so short ?

  2. Gayle, I agree! Not sure when the style began--nor just when it ended. (Hmm. Research topic!) What's funny is that I've seen it on gravestones of young folks and old folks alike. Very interesting.


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