Words in Stone
by Abby Lambert
My sister spends half the year in Portland and the other half in England. Her daughter and grandchildren live in Louth, Lincolnshire in north west England – the main reason she spends so much time there.
(Side note: Louth is famous for its sausages.) While in Lincolnshire, they enjoy day trips to local points of interest. One such place is a cemetery located near Biscathorpe Church, located on the ruins of a Medieval town. The area is now a public park and the cemetery is often visited by the locals.
Each time they go to Biscathorpe, my sister and the grandkids stop and read the headstones; one in particular intrigues them, so she sent a photo and the inscription. As I read it something about it intrigued me, too. More than the typical “Rest In Peace,” the carving was obviously commissioned by a family of wealth. The writing is poetic and it captures part of a family’s story from 177 years ago. And it was all carved in stone!
Here it is:
In Memory of Thomas Flinton
Who died May 11th 1838, Aged 19 years
Ye gay and blooming youth as you pass by,
On this sepulchral stone just feast your eye;
And think how very soon the spirit fled,
Just turn’d 19 and number’d with the dead
By a sudden spring of a spirited steed
In twenty five hours I was well and dead!
But was prepar’d to die in those few hours;
Reader reflect, will that short time be yours?