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The Hannah More Project

Computational Analysis, Author Attribution, and the Cheap Repository Tracts of the 18th Century

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The Gravestone


Here rests in peace a Christian wife,

Safe from the cares and ills of life;

Taught by kind Heaven’s afflicting rod,

She well had learned her way to GOD.

Once a gay girl, she trod the green,

The foremost in the festive scene;

‘Twas then she followed all her will,

And wedded William of the hill.

No heart had he for prayer and praise,

No thought of God’s most holy ways:

Of worldly gains he loved to speak,

In worldly cares he spent his week;

E’en Sunday passed unheeded by,

And both forgot that they must die.

While thus by Satan quite beguiled,

The God of mercy smote her child:

Bereft of one sweet infant dear,

She shed the mother’s mournful tear;

A second next she tried to save,

Then bore the second to the grave;

Both on one day the parent led

To silent mansions of the dead.

There, while she wept her children’s fate.

She learned to feel her mortal state;

Stood pondering all her errors past,

As if that day had been her last;

And as she held the mournful bier,

Dropt for herself a secret tear.

Once she believed her sins were few,

But this one moment cleared her view;

Then first she felt a Saviour’s need,

Sinner in thought, and word, and deed.

Of her own worth she ceased to dream,

For Christ’s redemption was her theme.

Henceforth her ways were ordered right,

She “walked by faith, and not by sight;”

She read God’s word, believed it true,

And strove to practise what she knew.

Her husband saw the mighty change,

And thought at first her humor strange;

Deemed his own worldly ways the best—

But soon his error stood confessed.

Ceased is the noise, the jarring strife,

For now how humble is the wife!

He proudly feels each cross event,

While she, poor sinner, is content;

No more she has her stubborn will,

Returns him daily good for ill;

And though her love is still the same.

She loves him with a purer flame.

Oft would she pray the God of grace

His lofty spirit to abase;

Upward his grovelling thoughts to raise,

And teach him humble prayer and praise.

Heaven heard her voice: the youth so gay,

The thoughtless sinner, learned to pray;

Sad sickness too, with pain and smart,

Was sent to soften all his heart.

She followed next her husband’s bier,

She wiped his last repenting tear;

She heard him mourn his former pride,

She heard him thank her when he died.

Here, then, in hope of endless life,

Rest both the husband and the wife;

Here too, the babes whom God hath given,

And such, we trust, shall enter heaven.

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