On the “Church of Scotland Magazine and Review“, May-December 1853, p.615 I found this little but curious piece of literature on the Old British Cemetery of Livorno and two of its monuments:
Lines Written in the Protestant Cemetery at Leghorn.
The graves of Francis Horner, M.P. and of the Rev. James Martin, the late truly apostolic minister of St. George’s Church, Edinburgh, are in the immediate neighbourhood of each other in the Protestant burial-ground at Leghorn. A willow waves its branches over Horner’s tomb, a cedar of the species called the Tree of Life raises its tall pyramidal form beside that of Martin.
Fresh are the willow’s leaves, that wave
Their shadows o’er thy timeless grave:
Horner! thy country ill could spare
Thy counsel sage, thy patriot care.
O hadst thou lived, her rolls of fame
Had borne another British name
Worthy with Pitt or Fox to stand
The glory of thy Fatherland.
It might not be; and o’er thy bier
She now must drop the fruitless tear;
While love paternal mourns a son,
His course how bright! how quickly run!
But lo! another humbler stone,
That bears a name less widely known,
O’er which the Tree of Life is seen,
An emblem true, and ever green.
Martin! not thine the heights to climb
Of wordly honour linked with time;
That “narrow way” thy footsteps trod,
Where faithful Enoch walked with God.
Through Zion oft hath wept for thee,
Thou hadst fulfilled thy ministry;
Yet Martin! ill the Church could spare
Thy pious zeal, thy fervent prayer.
“The applause of listening Senates” He
Had gain’d; but ’twas reserved for Thee,
In realms of love, redeem’d from sin,
In early youth “the crown” to win.
For those interested I furnish here a transcription of the two inscriptions:
Francis HORNER (1778-1817)
Francis Horner, | Member of The British Parliament | Born Edinburgh August 12, 1778, | Died at Pisa February 8, 1817. | In his Public Life, | He was Distinguished | for his | Splendid Talents and Spotless Integrity: | In his Private Life | As a Son, a Brother and a Friend, | he was | Dutiful Affectionate and Sincere | His Father | Erected This Monument, | and offers | This Tribute to his Memory. [To the same effect in Latin].
Rev. James MARTIN (1800-1834)
Here are interred | the earthly remains | of | the Rev. James Martin | of the | Church of Scotland | late Minister of St. George’s Church, Edinburgh | born at Brechin 30th Ju- 1800 | died 22d May 1834. | It was amidst the labours of a vocation which he adorned | that his strenght gave way | and though he consented to try the restorative effects of a milder climate | he sunk under the power of disease | till in this place – to him a land of strangers – | he breathed his last.
To the high culture of an accomplished gentleman and scholar, | he added the culture of a still higher and holier discipleship in the school of Jesus Christ, – | and hence a union of the most refined sensibility | with the deepest sacredness. | In his own land, many are the friends who have been saddened, | by the tidings of his death, | many among his sorrowing people | who revered him as their faithful and conscientious pastor while he lived | and in whose hearts the sense of his worth and piety and goodness | will long abide as one of their dearest and most hallowed recollections | but Christianity speaks an universal language | and there is a felt affinity between its disciples | throughout all the climes and countries | of the world. | This he richly experienced along his journey on the continent of Europe | the pilgrimage from his home to his grave | In the leadings of that merciful Providence which directed all his footsteps | he at Paris and Nice and Rome | was brought into converse with followers of the Lord Jesus | who soothed him on his way | and at Leghorn, there were children of the same spiritual family | who owned him for a brother | tended his dying moments | and closed his eyes.