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Posts Tagged ‘occupation’

Henry Rogers Selden

Henry Rogers Selden was a lawyer, judge and politician, serving in such positions as Lieutenant Governor of New York. But the reason I photographed his grave marker is that Selden defended Susan B. Anthony in 1873. Anthony and a number of her fellow suffragists decided to test the constitutionality of denying women the right to vote, and Anthony presented her research and arguments to Selden. He found them compelling and told her that he thought she had a right to vote. She voted in the national election of 1872 and was arrested for illegal voting. Selden defended her during the case pro bono, and was extremely disappointed at her conviction.

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100_9407

Elroy Curtis

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Frank Irvin

The shell on this tombstone in Lake View Cemetery intrigues me.  A shell like this, specifically a scallop shell, is the pilgrimage symbol for Santiago de Compostela in Spain, where there is a shrine to the apostle St. James the Greater.  The shrine holds bones that are reputed to be those of the saint, also the patron saint of Spain, and has been a pilgrimage site for Christians since the 9th century.  Medieval pilgrims would wear a shell as a symbol of their journey, and such scallop shells are still available today.  Did Irvin make this journey and treasure it in such a way that a representation of it was to be on his grave marker?

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Boyd (2)

Boyd (1)

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Scott (2)

Scott (3)

Scott (1)

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Guinness (2)

The name Guinness may be world-famous for brewing, but they played other roles in Irish history. Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness was the grandson of Arthur Guinness, founder of the brewery. Born in Dublin in 1798, Benjamin became Lord Mayor of Dublin, and in 1865, he was elected to the House of Commons to represent his native city. His statue sits outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral because he personally funded the restoration of the cathedral in the early 1860s. He was made a baronet in recognition of this philanthropy.

Guinness (1)

Guinness (3)

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In St. Patrick’s Park in Dublin, Ireland, there is a long brick wall with what is called the Literary Parade. The wall has a series of niches, each of which houses a plaque of a famous Irish author.

Literary Parade

Beckett (2)

Beckett (1)

Behan

Clarke

Dillon (2)

Joyce

Mangan

O'Casey

Shaw

Swift

Synge

Wilde

Yeats

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Banks (1)

Banks (2)

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Boyd (2)

Boyd (1)

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Under Ben Bulben
by William Butler Yeats

Ben Bulben (2)

I
Swear by what the sages spoke
Round the Mareotic Lake
That the Witch of Atlas knew,
Spoke and set the cocks a-crow.

Swear by those horsemen, by those women
Complexion and form prove superhuman,
That pale, long-visaged company
That air in immortality
Completeness of their passions won;
Now they ride the wintry dawn
Where Ben Bulben sets the scene.

Here’s the gist of what they mean.

Ben Bulben (1)

II
Many times man lives and dies
Between his two eternities,
That of race and that of soul,
And ancient Ireland knew it all.
Whether man die in his bed
Or the rifle knocks him dead,
A brief parting from those dear
Is the worst man has to fear.
Though grave-digger’s toil is long,
Sharp their spades, their muscles strong,
They but thrust their buried men
Back in the human mind again.

Bates

III
You that Mitchel’s prayer have heard,
“Send war in our time, O Lord!”
Know that when all words are said
And a man is fighting mad,
Something drops from eyes long blind,
He completes his partial mind,
For an instant stands at ease,
Laughs aloud, his heart at peace.
Even the wisest man grows tense
With some sort of violence
Before he can accomplish fate,
Know his work or choose his mate.

High Cross (2)

IV
Poet and sculptor, do the work,
Nor let the modish painter shirk
What his great forefathers did,
Bring the soul of man to God,
Make him fill the cradles right.

Measurement began our might:
Forms a stark Egyptian thought,
Forms that gentler Phidias wrought,
Michael Angelo left a proof
On the Sistine Chapel roof,
Where but half-awakened Adam
Can disturb globe-trotting Madam
Till her bowels are in heat,
Proof that there’s a purpose set
Before the secret working mind:
Profane perfection of mankind.

Quattrocento put in print
On backgrounds for a God or Saint
Gardens where a soul’s at ease;
Where everything that meets the eye,
Flowers and grass and cloudless sky,
Resemble forms that are or seem
When sleepers wake and yet still dream,
And when it’s vanished still declare,
With only bed and bedstead there,
That heavens had opened.

Gyres run on;
When that greater dream had gone
Calvert and Wilson, Blake and Claude,
Prepared a rest for the people of God,
Palmer’s phrase, but after that
Confusion fell upon our thought

St. Columba's churchyard (6)

V
Irish poets, learn your trade,
Sing whatever is well made,
Scorn the sort now growing up
All out of shape from toe to top,
Their unremembering hearts and heads
Base-born products of base beds.
Sing the peasantry, and then
Hard-riding country gentlemen,
The holiness of monks, and after
Porter-drinkers’ randy laughter;
Sing the lords and ladies gay
That were beaten into clay
Through seven heroic centuries;
Cast your mind on other days
That we in coming days may be
Still the indomitable Irishry.

St. Columba's Church (4)

VI
Under bare Ben Bulben’s head
In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid.
An ancestor was rector there
Long years ago, a church stands near,
By the road an ancient cross.
No marble, no conventional phrase;
On limestone quarried near the spot
By his command these words are cut:
Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!

Yeats (1)

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