Monday, 1 June 2009

Old Graves

Old Yew, which graspest at the stones
That name the under-lying dead,
Thy fibres net the dreamless head,
Thy roots are wrapt about the bones.
The seasons bring the flower again,
And bring the firstling to the flock;
And in the dusk of thee, the clock
Beats out the little lives of men.
O not for thee the glow, the bloom,
Who changest not in any gale,
Nor branding summer suns avail
To touch thy thousand years of gloom:

And gazing on thee, sullen tree,
Sick for thy stubborn hardihood,
I seem to fail from out my blood
And grow incorporate into thee.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Have you ever visited an old graveyard and wondered about the lives of those who lie there?

Our church, which was built in the 1840s, is surrounded by old graves. Many have been moved to make way for an extension to the church building and are lined up together to one side of the church.

I often wonder about the people buried there, but especially the young women and little children who seemed to die so very often. Childbirth and infancy were such dangerous stages of life.

I wonder what these people thought and dreamed about. Could they have ever have imagined a future where Adelaide became a city of over a million people?

I wonder if these long dead folks are remembered by anyone. Or have their descendants moved far, far away?


Jayne said...

I love visiting old cemeteries, there's many a tale to be told from those headstones ;)
Great photos :)
You do realise they most likely only moved the headstones and not the bodies of the deceased, due to cost? ;)

Stephanie D. said...

I love old graveyards. There's a very small one nearby I keep meaning to just pull over and visit. It's right on the road, no entrance sign or church nearby, just a bunch of tombstones a few feet from the side of the road. So odd.

xo.sorcha.ox said...

I love "grave-spotting" (as I like to call it). It sounds like a strange hobby, but I always find the headstones and plaques so interesting. Even the structure of the cemetary can be fascinating, with their different "wings". There are some truly fascinating cemeteries and gravesites out this way (in the Flinders Ranges). Two weeks ago we drove to an early settler cemetary in the middle of nowhere. It was interesting because only one person in the cemetary was over 25 years of age, with all graves being from between the 1870s and early 1900s. These people were so far from anything resembling civilisation when they died and were buried. It's mind-boggling.
Thanks for sharing your pictures.

flowergirl73 said...

Hi Kate

I love visiting cemeteries too, but my husband thinks it is a bit macabre so I don't get to do it as often as I like. My favourite is Khancoben ghost town in the Snowy Mountains. Very young lives lost.

Anyway, I'm also leaving a message to ask if it is okay for me to list you on my 'blogroll' for my new blog: flowergirl73 on blogspot. Not sure of the etiquette of these things? Love reading your blog. Thanks Bron