Monday, May 05, 2008


A Tribute to our Ancestors
© Roy Stockdill 1997

from "Rhyming Relations: Genealogy in Verse"

THEY did not choose us, nor we them; we never knew them, nor they us; yet we
are inextricably bound together for all eternity and there is no law in the
universe, no metamorphosis physical or spiritual, that can ever alter this
inalienable truth.

OFTEN we may wish for different ones and feel moved to deny the ones we
have, but this is as futile as it is foolish to invent spurious ones, for
our deception will surely be unmasked, if not by others, ultimately by our
own conscience.

WE owe everything, our very existence, to our ancestors, and yet we know
next to nothing of them because mostly their lives were so humbly recorded.
It is good that we seek to expand our knowledge of their lives so that we
may better understand our own.

THEY made us, body and soul, and we must accept without complaint or rancour
what they were and what we are, for nothing and no-one can ever change this
fact and it is barren folly to dwell obsessively upon it.

WE recognise that the legacy of genetic inheritance is a double-edged sword.
We should be grateful for those gifts of personality and disposition our
ancestors bestowed upon us which we find beneficial and not rail against
those traits we find less appealing, for it is surely in our own hands to
change them.

WE should take pride in our ancestors and their achievements wherever
possible, whether high-born or low, rich or poor, prince or pauper, and not
seek arbitrarily to revile or condemn them for acts of which we know nothing
of the causes.

WE must learn from them, from their mistakes as well as their successes;
from their tragedies as well as their triumphs; from their sins as well as
their virtues; from their hopes as well as their fears.

POSTERITY and history are irrevocably intertwined in the present. No
coherent vision of the future can exist without an affinity for the past and
cognizance of the lives of our forebears.

REMEMBER that we, too, are the ancestors of those yet unborn and we should
seek to leave for them a heritage of which they can be as proud as we are of
that which our forebears bequeathed to us.

WE bless and thank our ancestors for the legacy of the good things they gave
us, forgive them their errors and pray that we will endeavour to use wisely
the knowledge which they handed down to us.

a better version than A Tribute to our Ancestors: which needs correcting
and my thanks to Kathleen of soc.genealogy.britain for this one see post:-

A Tribute to our Ancestors


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