Home  »  English Poetry I  »  157. Epitaph on Elizabeth L. H.

English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Ben Jonson

157. Epitaph on Elizabeth L. H.

WOULDS’T thou hear what man can say

In a little? Reader, stay.

Underneath this stone doth lie

As much beauty as could die;

Which in life did harbour give

To more virtue than doth live.

If at all she had a fault

Leave it buried in this vault.

One name was Elizabeth,

The other, let it sleep with death,

Fitter, where it died, to tell,

Than that it lived at all. Farewell.