In spite of the damaged statue, this is an unusually beautiful monument, and the inscriptions are very good examples of German stonecutting in Pittsburgh.
Born Hoeffingen, Baden,
April 17, 1831.
Died in Pittsburg
May 12, 1872.
The language does not seem to be standard German (note, for example, the spelling “Maÿ” rather than “Mai”). Is it some Alemannic dialect? Perhaps someone more familiar with German can help old Pa Pitt by identifying the dialect and translating the other inscriptions:
So leb denn wohl so zieh dahin
Die Erde wartet dein
Geh in des Todes stille Ruhe-Kammerein
Shlaf eine sanfte süse Ruh’
Die Hand der Liebe deckt dich zu,
In his transcription, Father Pitt has made the assumption that a horizontal line over an N or M doubles the letter.
Jeh empfand an deiner Seite
Lebensfroh der Erde Glück
Jinner geh mir dein Geleite
Einen frohen augenblick.
The base of the statue is marked “Mein Gatte” (“My Husband).” The statue is probably ordered from a monument-dealer’s catalogue, with the simple Gothic letters already on the base. They are not nearly as elegant as the beautiful lettering by the local stonecutter.
An update: Old Pa Pitt suspects that the dialect is some form of the Alemannic spoken in Baden.