Epitaph by Poetry

On 6th November 1896, exactly 127 years ago, an article appeared in the Hamilton Herald about epitaphs and inscriptions on tombstones and how families should ‘ideally get back’ to putting some immortal poems on their family members stones. It was a call to go back to the old days of poetry and thoughtfulness put into remembrance by written words. The article intended for Blantyre readers, gave nearby Bothwell as an example where it was said in Bothwell Cemetery , a blacksmith had a poem written by his family in honour of the hard work he had put in during his lifetime as a farrier.

Interested in this, I tracked down this gravestone out of curiosity to see what the inscription was, which read as follows:

“Erected by Margaret Scott, in memory of her husband, Robert Stobo, Late Smith and Farrier o’ Gowkthrapple, who died 7th May 1834, vxi the 70th year of his age.

My sledge and hammer lies declined,
My bellows pipes have lost its wind;
My forge’s extinct, my fires decayed,
And in the dust my vice is laid.
My coal is spent, my iron is gone,
My nails are drove, my work is Done.”

This must have worked, for here we are talking about this stone and this man, almost 190 years later!
I’ve jumped out of Blantyre Parish unusually today. Back to Blantyre tomorrow…..

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