In the old “Polk Graveyard,” nine miles from Charlotte, is the tombstone of Mrs. Maria Polk, a grand-aunt of President Polk, containing a lengthy eulogy, in poetry and prose, of this good woman. The first sentence, “”Virtus non exemptio a morte””[H] is neatly executed on a semicircle, extending over the prostrate figure of a departed female saint, sculptured with considerable skill on the soapstone slab, but now scarcely visible on account of the over-spreading moss and lichen. Immediately beneath the “sainted figure” is the expression, “Formosa etsi mortua”.[I] From the lengthy eulogy, the following extracts are taken:
“Here, unalarmed at death’s last stroke, Lies in this tomb, Maria Polk; A tender mother, virtuous wife. Resigned in every scene of life.
* * * * *
“To heavenly courts she did repair; May those she loved all meet her there.
“Supported by the hope of a happy death, and a glorious resurrection to eternal life, she bore a tedious and painful illness with a truly Christian fortitude. The last exercise of her feeble mind was employed in singing the 63rd of the second book of Dr. Watt’s Hymns, in which, anticipating the blessed society above, she exchanged the earthly for the heavenly melody.”
She died on the 29th of November, 1791, in the forty-fifth year of her age.