“If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.” Khalil Gibran ~ On Death
Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati is one of the largest nonprofit cemeteries in the United States.
It is a National Historic Landmark with graves of both revolutionary war and civil war soldiers.
“When the hours of Day are numbered,
And the voices of the Night
Wake the better soul, that slumbered,
To a holy, calm delight. . .” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – Footsteps of Angels
Spring Grove is a beautiful cemetery and is famous for its lawn plan, unconventional at the time of its creation, but now a model for many other cemeteries.
The designer, Strauch, “believed in developing the landscape to harmonize with nature. He re-routed roads to follow the natural shapes of Spring Grove’s hills and valleys.
He built lakes, islands, footbridges, protected woodland areas,
and brought hundreds of trees and plants from other parts of the world,” (Spring Grove Cemetery).
“Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy! ” John Keats ~ Ode to a Nightingale
The varied landscaping transports you from what might be a mysterious Louisiana swampland
to a stately Georgian plantation.
“Because I could not stop for Death—
He kindly stopped for me—
The Carriage held but just Ourselves—
And Immortality.” Emily Dickenson
Gravemarkers range from the elaborate—
buildings made of marble and stone,
this one boasting flying buttresses—
to the simple.
“Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so . . .” John Donne
“I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.” W. B. Yeats ~ An Irish Airman Foresees his Death
“Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.” Christina Rossetti ~ Remember