Saturday, April 7, 2012

Epitaph: The flowing tear, the heaving sigh

The inscription on the large tablet marker at the grave of Nancy Cowles (d. 1829) in Oak Grove Cemetery is surprisingly legible, given its age.

The stone is without decoration, but it is beautifully carved and bears a touching epitaph.



NANCY.
wife of
LEONARD H COWLES,
died August 21, 1829;
aged 31 years.
The God of love will sure indulge
The flowing tear, the heaving sigh,
When righteous persons fall around,
When tender friends and kindred die
Hymnary.org returns 74 instances of the line “The God of love will sure indulge,” which it attributes to Elizabeth Scott.

Here is an image from one of the instances, a 1789 hymnal, A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Publick Worship.


By the way, if you are not familiar with Hymnary.org, take a look. A “comprehensive index of hymns and hymnals,” it is handy tool for the epitaph student.

Oak Grove Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

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