The friend of man

On Tuesday, I attended the funeral of Richard Laight, an ex-colleague from the University of Nottingham who became a close and valued friend. Given his sudden and unexpected death, it was a very sad occasion, but one which also celebrated a life that had blessed many. I was asked to read this fitting epitaph. Richard will be greatly missed.

An honest man here lies at rest …
The friend of man, the friend of truth;
The friend of Age, and guide of Youth:
Few hearts like his with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so inform’d:
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.

Robert Burns | Epitaph on my own friend, and my father’s friend, William Muir in Tarbolton (1784)

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