Behold and see

Posted by ESC on March 14, 2003

In Reply to: Epitaph - author unknown posted by Lewis on March 13, 2003

: : The following was inscribed on a very old stone inside the rear door of St. Mary's Church in Youghal, Ireland. I first became aware of it while growing up in Youghal, but have also heard similar sayings here in the US.

: : "Remember man as you pass by,
: : As you are now, so once was I.
: : As I am now, so you shall be.
: : Remember man, eternity."

: : Can anyone help with the origin, age, author of this...?

: popular in Ireland - I think 150 years at least - there are memorial sites preserving the inscriptions and it appears quite popular. Author Unknown - from a gravestone.

"Newport, R.I., has this early paraphrase in America of the epitaph of Edward the Black Prince, son of Edward III of England, who died in 1376. (A variation, usually a couplet, was popular in New England and appears as late as 1873.):

Josiah Lyndon
Died Augt 8 1709

Behovld and See
For as I am Soe shalt Thov Bee
Bvt as Thov Art
Soe Once Was I
Bee Svre of This
That Thov Mvst Dye."

From "Over Their Dead Bodies: Yankee Epitaphs & History" by Thomas C. Mann and Janet Greene (The Stephen Greene Press, Brattleboro, Vermont, Pioneer Printing Co. Inc., 1962).