Gone like the Wind

Another grave I beheld at Tunstall Churchyard dated back to the late 90s and had upon it some intriguing verse:

I came like the wind like water I go

-with a full name and dates on the other side. The line seems to be a corruption of medieval Persian poet Omar Kahayam whose Rubaiyat was translated into English and published in the year 1859 by Edward FitzGerald. Verse 31 goes

With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,

And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:

And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd --

"I came like Water and like Wind I go."

The rest of the poem is rather sweet, though it is essentially Islamic mysticism with a generous helping of mid-Victorian sentimentality. All very lovely, all very pleasant. Yet how can one speak of death without Christ, its conqueror? Sweet words cannot hide the horrors of a Christless death. As verse 33 puts it:

There was the Door to which I found no Key:

There was the Veil through which I could not see:

Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee

There was -- and then no more of Thee and Me.

The follower of Jesus possesses that key, and the veil is rent. On the other side, there is more 'thee and me' than ever there was on earth, but there we shall be complete and perfect. The owner of that grave stone, or the family which appointed it, must have been cultured folk, but with out the Saviour-

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.