Story Chapel Sundial

April 1, 2016

WITH WARNING HAND I MARK TIME’S RAPID FLIGHT
FROM LIFE’S GLAD MORNING TO ITS SOLEMN NIGHT;
YET, THROUGH THE DEAR GOD’S LOVE I ALSO SHOW
THERE’S LIGHT ABOVE ME BY THE SHADE BELOW.
– Whittier


Story Chapel with Porte_Cochere

Inscription under the sundial on Story Chapel, erected in 1896-8.  The tablet is made from Indiana limestone, and clusters of ivy leaves are engraved around the inscription and bronze sundial.

“In 1852 he [Henry Ingersoll Bowditch] acquired an old silver sundial, formerly owned by Dr. Waterhouse of Cambridge, a professor at Harvard. My father, after placing the dial upon a large copper disk, on which were engraved the signs of the Zodiac, asked his friend, the poet John G. Whittier, for an appropriate verse to be engraved upon the copper. In response Whittier sent the exquisite lines now well known in his books of poems, and recently placed upon the chapel at Mount Auburn. . . .'[now quoting a letter of H. I. Bowditch, Whittier’s verse] hints at least that the great, the divine laws of compensation hold good even in suffering, if we will but ever keep a simple faith in God’s bounteous loving kindness; so that just in proportion to the amount of shadow will appear brighter light and warmth, if we will but open our eyes and hearts to its genial influences.'”

From Life and Correspondence of Henry Ingersoll Bowditch by his son Vincent Y. Bowditch, 1902.

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