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EPITAPHS
  Displaying page 1 of 6    Next Page >> 
[ Also see Apothegms Death Epigrams Graves Last Words Monuments Mottoes Mourning Obituaries Satire Tombs ]

Speme e Fortune, addio; che' in porto entrai.
  Schernite gli altri; ch'io vi spregio omai.
      - Luigi Alamanni,
        version of the Greek "Anthologia" epigram by Luigi Alamanni

Inn of a traveller on his way to Jerusalem.
      - Henry Alford,
        on his monument in St. Martin's Churchyard, Canterbury

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.
  [Fr., Ne homme--mort epicier.]
      - Alfred Austin, Golden Age,
        a translation of a French epitaph

Lie lightly on my ashes, gentle earthe.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Tragedy of Bonduca (act IV, sc. 3)

Grave-stones tell truth scarce forty years. Generations pass while families last not three oaks.
      - Sir Thomas Browne

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 Williams Buchanan,
        The Modern Warrior (st. 7)

And be the Spartan's epitaph on me--
  "Sparta hath many a worthier son than he."
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Childe Harold (canto IV, st. 10)

Shrine of the mighty! can it be,
  That this is all remains of thee?
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Giaour (l. 106)

Kind reader! take your choice to cry or laugh;
  Here Harod lies--but where's his Epitaph?
    If such you seek, try Westminister, and view
      Ten thousand, just as fit for him as you.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel 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 (2),
        Lines upon Mr. John Foster

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 shall of sinne
          And so was hatch'd a cherubin.
      - Thomas 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."
      - Thomas Carlyle, Essay on Mirabeau (close)

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

For though his body's under hatches,
  His soul has gone aloft.
      - Charles Dibdin, Tom Bowling,
        written on the death of his brother

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 death of his brother, inscribed on Charles Dibdin's gravestone in Camden Town

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.
      - John Dryden, Dedication of the Aeneid
         (XIV, 149)

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 Elliott ("The Corn Law Rhymer"),
        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

May his body rest free from evil.
  [Lat., Corpus requiescat a malis.]
      - Quintus Ennius, Tusc. (I, 44),
        quoted by Cicero

A tomb now suffices him for whom the whole word was not sufficient.
  [Lat., Sufficit huic tumulus, cui non suffecerit orbis.]
      - Epitaph, epitaph on Alexander the Great

Baths, wine and Venus bring decay to our bodies; but baths, wine and Venus make up life.
  [Lat., Balnea, vina, Venus corrumpunt corpora nostra;
    Sed vitam faciunt baldea, vina, Venus.]
      - Epitaph, 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, epitaph at Harrow, England

Ecce quod expendi habui, quod donavi habeo, quod negavi punior, quod servavi perdidi.
      - Epitaph,
        on tomb of John Killungworth (1412) in Pitson Church, Bucks, England

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,
        epitaph over William Harvey in Greasley Churchyard, England


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