Tombstone Tuesday - A poetic family legend

By now you should know that my surname is Lamb and that I've been able to trace my direct surname line to Francis Lamb (b. 1796 in Ireland).  There's an old family legend that links this line with a famous Lamb, a link that I am still trying to prove.  You've probably heard of him.  His nickname has appeared in quite a few crossword puzzles through the ages.  That nickname is Elia, and the poet was Charles Lamb.

Rather than give you a full account of where he might fit into my own line, I'd like to share a look at what's written on his tombstone.

The poem that is written there reads:
Farewell dear friend, that smile, that harmless mirth
no more shall gladden our domestic hearth
that rising tear, with pain forbid to flow
better than words no more assuage our woe
that hand outstretched, from small but well earned store
yield succor to the destitute no more
yet art thou not all lost, thro' many an age
with sterling sense and humor shall thy page
with many an English bosom, pleased to see
that old and happier vein revived in thee,
this for our earth, and if with friends we share
our joys in heaven, we hope to meet thee there.

The photograph above is cropped and adjusted from the original photograph taken in May 2008 by Wikipedia contributor Northmetpit and made available under public domain at Wikimedia Commons (accessed 26 October 2010).


Astrid said...

How cool! I hope you find the link.

Bill West said...

I have indeed heard of Charles Lamb.
I'd like to read about that possible connection sometime as well.

Thanks for participating in the Challenge Sean!

Judith Richards Shubert said...

That's a lot to put on a tombstone! But well worth reading. Keep us posted when you find your connection.

Nancy said...

Isn't that a beautiful poem and tribute! Thanks for sharing it. Wishing you success in finding your connection to Charles Lamb.

Ann H. said...

The Lambs that I've been trying to trace are all, so far, female, and I only found them thanks to the publication of "Fifty Years of Troy Female Seminary 1822-1872", which apparently my ggg-grandmother and her sister(s) attended. My problem is that I have so little documentation of these Lambs. I'm not sure how many of the students surnamed Lamb were really related to each other, even though they were all attending this school in Troy in the early 19th century, when there couldn't have been THAT many Lambs in Troy. The irony is that my ggg-grandmother married a man with the first name of Charles... I keep forgetting that he wasn't named Charles Lamb! I'm already [distantly] related to both Wordworth and Percy Bysse Shelley, why not Charles Lamb too?

Anyway. I've been searching for years and finding very little that cements the relationships between all the many Lambs I've found living in NY at the time, they've been much more trouble than almost any other set of ancestors. So you have my complete and utter sympathy for you in your research.