Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


Here lies the remains of James Pady, Brickmaker, in hope that his clay will be remoulded in a workmanlike manner, far superior to his former perishable materials.
Epitaph from Addiscombe Church-yard, Devonshire.

Stavo bene; per star meglio, sto qui.
I was well, I would be better; I am here.
Addison’s translation of the epitaph on the monument of an Italian Valetudinarian. Spectator. No. 25. Boswell’s Johnson, April 7, 1775.

Sufficit huic tumulus, cui non suffecerit orbis.
A tomb now suffices him for whom the whole world was not sufficient.
Epitaph on Alexander the Great.

If Paris that brief flight allow,
My humble tomb explore!
It bears: “Eternity, be thou
My refuge!” and no more.
Matthew Arnold—Epitaph.

Here lies who, born a man, a grocer died.
Translation of a French epitaph: Né homme—mort épicier. Alfred Austin—Golden Age.

Here lies Anne Mann; she lived an
Old maid and died an old Mann.
Bath Abbey.

Lie lightly on my ashes, gentle earthe.
Beaumont and Fletcher—Tragedy of Bonduca. Act IV. Sc. 3. (“Sit tibi terra levis,” familiar inscription.)

And the voice of men shall call,
“He is fallen like us all,
Though the weapon of the Lord was in his hand:”
And thine epitaph shall be—
“He was wretched ev’n as we;”
And thy tomb may be unhonoured in the land.
Robert Buchanan—The Modern Warrior. St. 7.

And be the Spartan’s epitaph on me—
“Sparta hath many a worthier son than he.”
Byron—Childe Harold. Canto IV. St. 10.

Shrine of the mighty! can it be,
That this is all remains of thee?
Byron—Giaour. L. 106.

Kind reader! take your choice to cry or laugh;
Here HAROLD lies—but where’s his Epitaph?
If such you seek, try Westminster, and view
Ten thousand, just as fit for him as you.
Byron—Substitute for an Epitaph.

Yet at the resurrection we shall see
A fair edition, and of matchless worth,
Free from erratas, new in heaven set forth.
Joseph Capen—Lines upon Mr.
John Foster.
Borrowed from Rev. B. Woodbridge.

Loe here the precious dust is layd;
Whose purely-temper’d clay was made
So fine that it the guest betray’d.
Else the soule grew so fast within,
It broke the outward shell of sinne
And so was hatch’d a cherubin.
Thos. Carew—Inscription on Tomb of Lady Maria Wentworth. In Toddington Church, Bedfordshire, England.

This Mirabeau’s work, then, is done. He sleeps with the primeval giants. He has gone over to the majority: “Abiit ad plures.”
Carlyle—Essay on Mirabeau. Close.

It is so soon that I am done for,
I wonder what I was begun for!
Epitaph in Cheltenham Church-yard.

Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade,
Death came with friendly care;
The opening bud to Heaven conveyed,
And bade it blossom there.
Coleridge—Epitaph on an Infant.

Peas to his Hashes.
Epitaph on a Cook (London).

Underneath this crust
Lies the mouldering dust
Of Eleanor Batchelor Shoven,
Well versed in the arts
Of pies, custards and tarts,
And the lucrative trade of the oven.
When she lived long enough,
She made her last puff,
A puff by her husband much praised,
And now she doth lie
And make a dirt pie,
In hopes that her crust may be raised.
Epitaph on a Cook (Yorkshire).

What wee gave, wee have;
What wee spent, wee had;
What wee left, wee lost.
Epitaph on Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon. (1419). In Cleveland’s Geneal. Hist. of the Family of Courtenay. P. 142. Said to be on a tomb in Padua. Attributed to Carlyle; not found. Like inscriptions are found on many old tombstones. The oldest is probably the one in the choir of St. Peter’s Church at St. Albans.

Praised, wept,
And honoured, by the muse he loved.
Lines from the epitaph of James Craggs in Westminster Abbey.

And when I lie in the green kirkyard,
With the mould upon my breast,
Say not that she did well—or ill,
“Only, She did her best.”
Mrs. Craik (Miss Mulock). Given in her obituary notice in the Athenæum, Oct. 22, 1887.

O man! whosoever thou art, and whensoever thou comest, for come I know thou wilt, I am Cyrus, founder of the Persian empire. Envy me not the little earth that covers my body.
Plutarch—Life of Alexander. Epitaph of Cyrus.

Full many a life he saved
With his undaunted crew;
He put his trust in Providence,
And Cared Not How It Blew.
Epitaph in Deal Churchyard.

His form was of the manliest beauty,
His heart was kind and soft,
Faithful, below, he did his duty;
But now he’s gone aloft.
Charles Dibdin—Tom Bowling. Written on the death of his brother. Inscribed on Charles Dibdin’s gravestone, in the cemetery of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, Camden Town.

For though his body’s under hatches,
His soul has gone aloft.
Charles Dibdin—Tom Bowling. Written on the death of his brother.

This comes of altering fundamental laws and overpersuading by his landlord to take physic (of which he died) for the benefit of the doctor—Stavo bene (was written on his monument) ma per star meglio, sto qui.
Dryden—Dedication of the Æneid. XIV. 149.

Here lies Du Vall; reader, if male thou art,
Look to thy purse; if female, to thy heart.
Claude Du Vall’s Epitaph in Covent Garden Church. Found in Francis Watt’s Law’s Slumber Room. 2nd Series.

If e’er she knew an evil thought
She spoke no evil word:
Peace to the gentle! She hath sought
The bosom of her Lord.
Ebenezer Elliot—Hannah Ratcliff.

“Let there be no inscription upon my tomb. Let no man write my epitaph. No man can write my epitaph. I am here ready to die. I am not allowed to vindicate my character; and when I am prevented from vindicating myself, let no man dare calumniate me. Let my character and motives repose in obscurity and peace, till other times and other men can do them justice.”
Robert Emmet—Speech on his Trial and Conviction for High Treason. September, 1803.

Corpus requiescat a malis.
May his body rest free from evil.
Ennius, quoted by Cicero—Tusc. I. 44.

Under this stone, reader, survey
Dead Sir John Vanbrugh’s house of clay:
Lie heavy on him, earth! for he
Laid many heavy loads on thee.
Dr. Abel Evans—Epitaph on the architect of Blenheim Palace. (Vanbrugh is buried in St. Stephen’s Church, Walbrook, England.)

Lie light upon him, earth! tho’ he
Laid many a heavy load on thee.
As quoted by Snuffling—Epitaphia; Architects. Box—Elegies and Epitaphs. Voltaire—Letters. (1733). P. 187.

The body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer, (Like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stript of its lettering and gilding), Lies here, food for worms; But the work shall not be lost, for it will (as he believed) appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the author.
Benjamin Franklin—Epitaph on Himself. Written in 1728. Revised by himself from an earlier one.
John Davis, in Travels of Four Years and a Half in the United States of America, gives similar epitaph in Latin, said to have been written by “An Eton scholar.”

Quand je serai la, je serai sans souci.
When I shall be there, I shall be without care.
Frederick the Great. His inscription written at the foot of the statue of Flora at Sans Souci, where he wished to be buried. His body lies in the church at Potsdam.

Here lies Fred,
Who was alive and is dead.
Had it been his father,
I had much rather.
Had it been his brother,
Still better than another.
Had it been his sister,
No one would have missed her.
Had it been the whole generation,
Still better for the nation.
But since ’tis only Fred,
Who was alive, and is dead,
There’s no more to be said.
Epitaph to Frederick, Prince of Wales (Father of George III), as given by Thackeray—Four Georges. Probably version of a French epigram “Colas est morte de maladie,” found in Les Epigrammes de Jean Ogier Gombauld. (1658). Several early versions of same. See Notes and Queries. May 3, 1902. P. 345.

“Fuller’s earth.”
Thomas Fuller—Epitaph written by Himself.

Here lies Nolly Goldsmith, for shortness called Noll,
Who wrote like an angel, and talked like poor Poll.
David Garrick.

Here lie together, waiting the Messiah
The little David and the great Goliath.
Note in Thespian Dict. appended to account of Garrick, whose remains lie close to those of Johnson, in Westminster Abbey.

Life is a jest, and all things show it,
I thought so once, but now I know it.
Gay—My Own Epitaph.

Like a worn out type, he is returned to the Founder in the hope of being recast in a better and more perfect mould.
Epitaph on Peter Gedge. Parish church, St. Mary, Bury St. Edmund’s.

I have expended; I have given; I have kept;
I have possessed; I do possess; I have lost;
I am punished. What I formerly expended, I have; what I gave away, I have.
Gesta Romanorum. Tale XVI. Found on the golden sarcophagus of a Roman Emperor.

What we say of a thing that has just come in fashion
And that which we do with the dead,
Is the name of the honestest man in the nation:
What more of a man can be said?
Goldsmith—Punning epitaph on John Newbery, the publisher.

Qui nullum fere scribendi genus non tetigit; nullum quod tetigit non ornavit.
Who left nothing of authorship untouched, and touched nothing which he did not adorn.
Goldsmith’s Epitaph in Westminster Abbey. Written by Samuel Johnson.

And many a holy text around she strews
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
Gray—Elegy in a Country Churchyard. St. 21.

Balnea, vina, Venus corrumpunt corpora nostra;
Sed vitam faciunt baldea, vina, Venus.
Baths, wine and Venus bring decay to our bodies; but baths, wine and Venus make up life.
Epitaph in Gruter’s Monumenta.

Beneath these green trees rising to the skies,
The planter of them, Isaac Greentree, lies;
The time shall come when these green trees shall fall,
And Isaac Greentree rise above them all.
Epitaph at Harrow.

His foe was folly and his weapon wit.
Anthony Hope Hawkins—Inscribed on the bronze tablet placed in memory of Sir William Gilbert on the Victoria Embankment, Aug. 31, 1915. Bronze is by Sir George Frampton.

Farewell, vain world, I’ve had enough of thee,
And Valies’t not what thou Can’st say of me;
Thy Smiles I count not, nor thy frowns I fear,
My days are past, my head lies quiet here.
What faults you saw in me take Care to shun,
Look but at home, enough is to be done.
Epitaph over William Harvey in Greasley Churchyard, England. (1756). A travesty of the same is over the tomb of Phillis Robinson, in that churchyard. (1866). See Alfred Stapleton—The Churchyard Scribe. P. 95.

Man’s life is like unto a winter’s day,
Some break their fast and so depart away,
Others stay dinner then depart full fed;
The longest age but sups and goes to bed.
Oh, reader, then behold and see,
As we are now so must you be.
Bishop Henshaw—Horæ Succisivæ.

But here’s the sunset of a tedious day.
These two asleep are; I’ll but be undrest,
And so to bed. Pray wish us all good rest.
Herrick—Epitaph on Sir Edward Giles.

Here she lies a pretty bud,
Lately made of flesh and blood;
Who, as soone fell fast asleep,
As her little eyes did peep.
Give her strewings, but not stir
The earth that lightly covers her.
Herrick—Upon a Child that Dyed.

Under the shadow of a leafy bough
That leaned toward a singing rivulet,
One pure white stone, whereon, like crown on brow,
The image of the vanished star was set;
And this was graven on the pure white stone
In golden letters—“WHILE SHE LIVED SHE SHONE.”
Jean Ingelow—Star’s Monument. St. 47.

The hand of him here torpid lies,
That drew th’ essential form of grace,
Here closed in death th’ attentive eyes
That saw the manners in the face.
Samuel Johnson—Epitaph for Hogarth.

Sleep undisturbed within this peaceful shrine,
Till angels wake thee with a note like thine.
Samuel Johnson—Epitaph on Claude Phillips.

Underneath this stone doth lie
As much beauty as could die;
Which in life did harbor give
To more virtue than doth live.
If at all she had a fault,
Leave it buried in this vault.
Ben Jonson—Epigram CXXIV. To Lady Elizabeth L. H.

Underneath this sable herse
Lies the subject of all verse,—
Sydneye’s sister, Pembroke’s mother.
Death, ere thou hast slaine another,
Faire and learn’d and good as she,
Tyme shall throw a dart at thee.
Attributed to Ben Jonson—Epitaph on the Countess of Pembroke. Claimed for Sir Thomas Browne by Sir Egerton Brydges. It is in Lansdowne MS. No. 777, in British Museum. Poems by Browne. Vol. II. P. 342. Ed. by W. C. Hazlitt for the Roxburghe Library.

Here lies one whose name was writ in water.
Engraved on Keats’ tombstone at his own desire. Phrase “writ in water” in Hakewell’s Apologie. (1635). P. 127. King Henry VIII. IV. II.

I conceive disgust at these impertinent and misbecoming familiarities inscribed upon your ordinary tombstone.

Satire does not look pretty upon a tombstone.

I strove with none, for none was worth my strife;
Nature I loved, and after Nature, Art;
I warmed both hands before the fire of life;
It sinks, and I am ready to depart.
Walter Savage Landor—Epitaph on Himself.

Emigravit, is the inscription on the tombstone where he lies;
Dead he is not, but departed,—for the artist never dies.

Here lie I, Martin Elginbrodde:
Have mercy o’ my soul, Lord God;
As I wad do, were I Lord God,
And ye were Martin Elginbrodde.
George McDonald—David Elginbrod. Ch. XIII.

The shameless Chloe placed on the tombs of her seven husbands the inscription, “The work of Chloe.” How could she have expressed herself more plainly?
Martial—Epigrams. Bk. IX. Ep. 15.

This work, newly revised and improved by its great Author, will reappear in a splendid day.
Epitaph on Oscar Meader in a church in Berlin.

Ci gît l’enfant gâté du monde qu’il gâta.
Here lies the child spoiled by the world which he spoiled.
Baronne de Montolieu—Epitaph on Voltaire.

Requiescat in pace.
May he rest in peace.
Order of the Mass.

Beneath this stone old Abraham lies;
Nobody laughs and nobody cries.
Where he is gone, and how he fares,
Nobody knows and nobody cares.
On the monument of Abraham Newland, principal cashier of the Bank of England. (Died, 1807. His own lines.)

Jacet ecce Tibullus;
Vix manet e toto parva quod urna capit.
Here lies Tibullus; of all that he was there scarcely remains enough to fill a small urn.
Ovid—Amorum. Bk. III. 9, 39.

Molliter ossa cubent.
May his bones rest gently.
Ovid—Heroides. VII. 162.

“In his last binn Sir Peter lies.”
He kept at true humour’s mark
The social flow of pleasure’s tide:
He never made a brow look dark,
Nor caused a tear, but when he died.
Thos. Love Peacock—To Sir Peter.

Postquam est mortem aptus Plautus: comœdia luget
Scena deserta, dein risus ludus jocusque
Et numeri innumeri simul omnes collacrumarunt.
Plautus has prepared himself for a life beyond the grave; the comic stage deserted weeps; laughter also and jest and joke; and poetic and prosaic will bewail his loss together.
Epitaph of Plautus, by himself.

Under this marble, or under this sill,
Or under this turf, or e’en what they will,
Whatever an heir, or a friend in his stead,
Or any good creature shall lay o’er my head,
Lies one who ne’er car’d, and still cares not a pin
What they said or may say of the mortal within;
But who, living and dying, serene, still and free,
Trusts in God that as well as he was he shall be.

Kneller, by Heaven and not a master taught
Whose art was nature, and whose pictures thought,
Living great Nature fear’d he might outvie
Her works; and dying, fears herself may die.
Pope—Inscription on the monument of Sir Geofrey Kneller in Westminster Abbey. Imitated from the epitaph on Raphael, in the Pantheon at Rome.

To this sad shrine, whoe’er thou art! draw near!
Here lies the friend most lov’d, the son most dear;
Who ne’er knew joy but friendship might divide,
Or gave his father grief but when he died.
Pope—Epitaph on Harcourt.

Nihil unquam peccavit, nisi quod mortua est.
She never did wrong in any way, unless in the fact that she died.
On a wife’s tomb at Rome.

Calmly he looked on either Life, and here
Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear:
From Nature’s temp’rate feast rose satisfy’d,
Thank’d Heaven that he had lived, and that he died.
Pope—Epitaph X.

Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere,
In action faithful, and in honour clear;
Who broke no promise, served no private end,
Who gained no title, and who lost no friend,
Ennobled by himself, by all approved,
And praised, unenvied, by the muse he loved.
Pope—Moral Essays. Epistle V. L. 67. (To Addison.)

Heralds and statesmen, by your leave,
Here lies what once was Matthew Prior;
The son of Adam and of Eve;
Can Bourbon or Nassau go higher?
Prior—Epitaph. Extempore. (As given in original edition.)

Johnny Carnegie lais heer
Descendit of Adam and Eve,
Gif ony cou gang hieher,
I’se willing give him leve.
Epitaph in an old Scottish Churchyard.

In Fortunam
Inveni portum spes et fortuna valete
Nil mini vobiscum ludite nunc alios.
Mine haven’s found; Fortune and Hope, adieu.
Mock others now, for I have done with you.
Inscription on the tomb of Francesco Pucci in the church of St. Onuphrius, (St. Onofrio), Rome. Translation by Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy. Pt. II. Sec. III. Memb. 6. Quoted by him as a saying of Prudentius. Attributed to Janus Pannonius. See Jani Panuonii—Onofrio. Pt. II. Folio 70. Found in Laurentius Schradern’s Monumenta Italiæ, Folio Helmæstadii. P. 164. Attributed to Cardinal, La Marck in foot-note to Le Sage’s Gil Blas.

Jam portum inveni, Spes et Fortuna valete.
Nil mihi vobiscum est, ludite nunc alios.
Fortune and Hope farewell! I’ve found the port;
You’ve done with me: go now, with others sport.
Version of the Greek epigram in the Anthologia. Trans. by Merivale. Latin by Thomas More, in the Progymnasmata prefixed to first ed. of More’s Epigrams. (1520).

Avete multum, Spesque, Forsque; sum in vado.
Qui pone sint illudite; haud mea interest.
Version of the Greek epigram in Dr. Wellesley’s Anthologia Polyglotta. P. 464. Ed. 1849.

Speme e Fortuna, addio; che’ in porto entrai.
Schernite gli altri; ch’io vi spregio omai.
Version of the Greek epigram by Luigi Alamanni.

I came at morn—’twas spring, I smiled,
The fields with green were clad;
I walked abroad at noon,—and lo!
’Twas summer,—I was glad;
I sate me down; ’twas autumn eve,
And I with sadness wept;
I laid me down at night, and then
’Twas winter,—and I slept.
Mary Pyper—Epitaph. A Life. Same on a tombstone in Massachusetts. See Newhaven Mag. Dec., 1863.

The world’s a book, writ by th’ eternal Art
Of the great Maker; printed in man’s heart;
’Tis falsely printed though divinely penn’d,
And all the Errata will appear at th’ end.
Quarles—Divine Fancies.

The World’s a Printing-House, our words, our thoughts,
Our deeds, are characters of several sizes.
Each Soul is a Compos’tor, of whose faults
The Levites are Correctors; Heaven Revises.
Death is the common Press, from whence being driven,
We’re gather’d, Sheet by Sheet, and bound for Heaven.
Quarles—Divine Fancies.

She was—but room forbids to tell thee what—
Sum all perfection up, and she was—that.
Quarles—Epitaph on Lady Luchyn.

Warm summer sun, shine friendly here;
Warm western wind, blow kindly here;
Green sod above, rest light, rest light—
Good-night, Annette!
Sweetheart, good-night.
Robert Richardson, in his collection, Willow and Wattle. P. 35.

Warm summer sun shine kindly here;
Warm southern wind blow softly here;
Green sod above lie light, lie light—
Good night, dear heart, good night, good night.
Richardson’s lines on the tombstone of Susie Clemens as altered by Mark Twain (S. L. Clemens).

Quod expendi habui
Quod donavi habeo
Quod servavi perdidi.
That I spent that I had
That I gave that I have
That I left that I lost.
Epitaph under an effigy of a priest. T. F. Ravenshaw’s Antiente Epitaphes. P. 5. Weever’s Funeral Monuments. Ed. 1631. P. 581. Pettigrew’s Chronicles of the Tombs.

Ecce quod expendi habui, quod donavi habeo,
quod negavi punior, quod servavi perdidi.
On Tomb of John Killungworth. (1412). In Pitson Church, Bucks, England.

Lo, all that ever I spent, that sometime had I;
All that I gave in good intent, that now have I;
That I never gave, nor lent, that now aby I;
That I kept till I went, that lost I.
Trans. of the Latin on the brasses of a priest at St. Albans, and on a brass as late as 1584 at St. Olave’s, Hart Street, London.

It that I gife, I haif,
It that I len, I craif,
It that I spend, is myue,
It that I leif, I tyne.
On very old stone in Scotland. Hackett’s Epitaphs. Vol. I. P. 32. (Ed. 1737).

Howe: Howe: who is heare:
I, Robin of Doncaster, and Margaret my feare.
That I spent, that I had;
That I gave, that I have;
That I left, that I lost.
Epitaph of Robert Byrkes, in Doncaster Church. Richard Gough—Sepulchral Monuments of Great Britain.

The earthe goeth on the earthe
Glisteringe like gold;
The earthe goeth to the earthe
Sooner than it wold;
The earthe builds on the earthe
Castles and Towers;
The earthe says to the earthe
All shall be ours.
Epitaph in T. F. Ravenshaw’s Antiente Epitaphes. (1878). P. 158. Also in The Scotch Haggis. Edinburgh, 1822. For variation of same see Montgomery—Christian Poets. P. 58. 3rd ed. Note states it is by William Billyng, Five Wounds of Christ. From an old MS. in the possession of William Bateman, of Manchester. The epitaph to Archbishop of Canterbury, time of Edward III, is the same. See Weaver’s Funeral Monuments. (1631). Facsimile discovered in the chapel of the Guild of the Holy Cross, at Stratford. See Fisher’s Illustrations of the Paintings, etc. (1802). Ed. by J. G. Nichols.

Earth walks on Earth,
Glittering in gold;
Earth goes to Earth,
Sooner than it wold;
Earth builds on Earth,
Palaces and towers;
Earth says to Earth,
Soon, all shall be ours.
Scott—Unpublished Epigram. In Notes and Queries. May 21, 1853. P. 498.

Traveller, let your step be light,
So that sleep these eyes may close,
For poor Scarron, till to-night,
Ne’er was able e’en to doze.
Scarron—Epitaph written by himself.

Sit tua terra levis.
May the earth rest lightly on thee.
Seneca—Epigram II. Ad Corsican. Martial—Epigram V. 35; IX. 30. 11.

Good Frend for Jesvs Sake Forbeare,
To Digg the Dvst Encloased Heare.
Blese be ye Man yt Spares Thes Stones.
And Cvrst be he yt Moves my Bones.
Epitaph on Shakespeare’s Tombstone at Stratford-on-Avon. (Said to be chosen by him, but not original.)

After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.
Hamlet. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 548.

Either our history shall with full mouth
Speak freely of our acts, or else our grave,
Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,
Not worshipp’d with a waxen epitaph.
Henry V. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 230.

You cannot better be employ’d, Bassanio,
Than to live still and write mine epitaph.
Merchant of Venice. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 117.

On your family’s old monument
Hang mournful epitaphs.
Much Ado About Nothing. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 208.

And if your love
Can labour aught in sad invention,
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb
And sing it to her bones, sing it to-night.
Much Ado About Nothing. Act V. Sc. 1. I,. 291.

Of comfort no man speak:
Let’s talk of graves, of worms and epitaphs.
Richard II. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 144.

These are two friends whose lives were undivided:
So let their memory be, now they have glided
Under the grave; let not their bones be parted,
For their two hearts in life were single-hearted.

He will be weighed again
At the Great Day,
His rigging refitted,
And his timbers repaired,
And with one broadside
Make his adversary
Strike in his turn.
Smollett—Peregrine Pickle. Vol. III. Ch. VII. Epitaph on Commodore Trunnion.

Let no man write my epitaph; let my grave
Be uninscribed, and let my memory rest
Till other times are come, and other men,
Who then may do me justice.
Southey. Written after Reading the Speech of Robert Emmet.

The turf has drank a
Widow’s tear;
Three of her husbands
Slumber here.
Epitaph at Staffordshire.

Here lies one who meant well, tried a little, failed much.
Stevenson—Christmas Sermon.

I, whom Apollo sometime visited,
Or feigned to visit, now, my day being done,
Do slumber wholly, nor shall know at all
The weariness of changes; nor perceive
Immeasurable sands of centuries
Drink up the blanching ink, or the loud sound
Of generations beat the music down.
Stevenson. Epitaph for himself.

Now when the number of my years
Is all fulfilled and I
From sedentary life
Shall rouse me up to die,
Bury me low and let me lie
Under the wide and starry sky.
Joying to live, I joyed to die,
Bury me low and let me lie.
Stevenson. Poem written, 1879. Probably original of his Requiem.

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie;
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
“Here he lies, where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.”
Stevenson—Requiem written for himself. Engraved on his tombstone.

To the down Bow of Death
His Forte gave way,
All the Graces in sorrow were drown’d;
Hallelujah Cresendo
Shall be his glad lay
When Da’Capo the Trumpet shall sound.
Epitaph to Samuel Taylor, in Youlgreaves Churchyard, Derbyshire, England.

Thou third great Canning, stand among our best
And noblest, now thy long day’s work hath ceased,
Here silent in our minster of the West
Who wert the voice of England in the East.
Tennyson—Epitaph on Lord Stratford De Redcliffe.

Ne’er to these chambers where the mighty rest,
Since their foundation came a nobler guest;
Nor e’er was to the bowers of bliss conveyed
A fairer spirit or more welcome shade.
Thomas Tickell—Ode on the Death of Addison. Later placed on Addison’s tomb in Henry the VII Chapel, Westminster.

Then haste, kind Death, in pity to my age,
And clap the Finis to my life’s last page.
May Heaven’s great Author my foul proof revise,
Cancel the page in which my error lies,
And raise my form above the etherial skies.
The stubborn pressman’s form I now may scoff;
Revised, corrected, finally worked off!
C. H. Timberley, ed. Songs of the Press. (1845).

Mantua me genuit; Calabri rapuere; tenet nunc
Parthenope. Cecini pascua, rura, duces.
Mantua bore me; the people of Calabria carried me off; Parthenope (Naples) holds me now. I have sung of pastures, of fields, of chieftains.
Vergil’s Epitaph. Said to be by himself.

Here in this place sleeps one whom love
Caused, through great cruelty to fall.
A little scholar, poor enough,
Whom François Villon men did call.
No scrap of land or garden small
He owned. He gave his goods away,
Table and trestles, baskets—all;
For God’s sake say for him this Lay.
François Villon. His own Epitaph.

He directed the stone over his grave to be thus inscribed:
Hie jacet hujus Sententiæ primus Author:
Disputandi pruritus ecclesiarum scabies.
Nomen alias quære.
Here lies the first author of this sentence; “The itch of disputation will prove the scab of the Church.” Inquire his name elsewhere.
Isaak Walton—Life of Wotton.

The poet’s fate is here in emblem shown,
He asked for bread, and he received a stone.
Samuel Wesley—Epigrams. On Butler’s Monument in Westminster Abbey.

Here lies, in a “horizontal” position
The “outside” case of
Peter Pendulum, watch-maker.
He departed this life “wound up”
In hopes of being “taken in hand” by his Maker,
And of being thoroughly “cleaned, repaired” and “set a-going”
In the world to come.
C. H. Wilson—Polyanthea. Epitaph on a Watch-maker. Transcribed from Aberconway Churchyard.

O what a monument of glorious worth,
When in a new edition he comes forth,
Without erratas, may we think he’ll be
In leaves and covers of eternity!
Benjamin Woodbridge—Lines on John Cotton. (1652).

He first deceas’d; she for a little tri’d
To live without him, lik’d it not, and died.
Sir Henry Wotton—Upon the Death of Sir Albertus Morton’s Wife.

Si monumentum requiris circumspice.
If you would see his monument look around.
Inscription on the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren in St. Paul’s, London. Written by his son. Trans. by Rogers—Italy. Florence.