These gravestones have been wiped clean due to weather erosion, or from damage. A life once lived, now even the words of memorium are erased from the stone…
Meek and gentle was her spirit
Prudence did her life adorn
Modest she disclaimed all merit
Tell me am not I forlorn
Yet I must and will resign her
She’s in better hands than mine
But I hope again to join her
In the realms of love divine.
Of such is the kingdom of Heaven
Often I stood as you stand now
To view the dead as you do me
Ere long, and you shall lie as low
And others stand and look on thee.
Tho’ lost to sight
To memory clear.
Tis but a little tear is shed
For one to mem’ry dear
The tribute of my childhood days
Is but a little tear.
As you were, you will always be
Treasured forever in our memory.
Come near my friends and cast and eye
Then go your way, prepare to die,
Learn your doom, and know you must
One day like me be turned to dust. 1876
A frequent feature on gravestones, the skull is a symbol of death, mortality, penitence, and sin. It appears in several formats.
SKULL & CROSSED BONES
Symbolic of crucifixion, death, and mortality.
The fear which this ancient symbol of death inspires led pirates to adopt it as an emblem upon their black flags and chemists to use it to denote poison. The combination when it appears on tombstones means, “He is dead.”
See yonder flower that scents the air How sweet it blooms How swift it fades! Just such is man in youth how fair How chang’d his form when death invades! Yet fades the flower to bloom again And we shall rise with Christ to reign.
As measured notes of set music we pass in fast or slow marches to the grave.
Gently this spot in solemn silence tread Let none disturb the relics of these dead Their souls have waft themselves to God on high But here all round this stone their bodies lie.
In my Father’s house are many mansions.
It is interesting to note that this skull is accompanied with only one bone. Curious and puzzling.
Lo! Lost remembrance drops a pious tear And holy friendship stands a mourner here.
This sculptured panel contains only the crossbones, and they are intersected with workman’s tools; a pick, a shovel, and a spade.
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord They rest from their labours and their works do follow them.
The skull represented here also displays crossed arrows and an hourglass, both of which symbolize mortality.
I am the Resurrection and the Life He that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live.
The badly eroded stone displays a dove flying above a skull and represents the resurrection of the soul.
A winged skull symbolizes the ascension into heaven, and the flight of the soul from mortal man.
Sometimes called death’s heads or winged death, it represents the fleeting nature of life and impending death. It was once a common motif on New England tombstones.
80% of the carvings on gravestones in Copps Hill Cemetery, Boston, bear the winged skull symbol.
No flat ring marble rules the traveler here The spot is sacred to affections dear He was in life what artful men pretend Companion, parent, neighbour, Christian, friend. 1802
Hail sweet repose not shall we rest No more with sickness be distressed Here from all sorrows find release Our souls shall dwell in endless peace. 1789
No longer was my life No longer was my breath God called me home in early life Because he thought it best. 1805
Though far from home in distant land My flesh returns to dust In hopes to rise when Jesus calls And dwell among the just. 1808
Life’s painful toils are over Its pilgrimage is ended And to a purer happier shore Her spirit hath ascended. 1808