epitaphs

from the graveyard of the First Presbyterian Church

Image: Engraved
Image: Engraved

Death once more has been among us
        Our beloved friend is gone
Who was near and dear unto us
        Thus we’re falling one by one.

–epitaph of William Baldwin, aged 61 years

 

Lo! on a narrow neck of land
Twixt two unbounded seas we stand
        Yet how insensible!
A point of time–a moment’s space 
Removes us to yon heavenly place
        Or shuts us up in Hell.

–epitaph of William Hughes, aged 24 years

 

Far from afflictions, toil and care
        The happy soul has fled
The breathless clay shall slumber here
        Among the silent dead.

–epitaph of Catharine Garret, aged 56 years 8 months

 

So fades the lovely blooming flower
Sweet smiling solace of an hour
So soon our transient comforts fly
And pleasures only bloom to die

–epitaph of Mary W. Hay, aged 3 years 3 months

 

These verses are taken from a manuscript volume in the New Jersey Historical Society. They were copied in the nineteenth century from gravestones in the burial ground of Newark’s Old First Church, now the site of the Prudential Center.

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