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GRAVES
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[ Also see Cemeteries Churchyards Death End Epitaphs Eternity Funerals Futurity Life Monuments Mortality Mourning Oblivion Resurrection Seriousness Tombs Undertakers ]

I would rather sleep in the southern corner of a little country churchyard, than in the tombs of the Capulets.
      - Edmund Burke, Letter to Matthew Smith

All that the mind would shrink from, of excesses;
  All that the body perpetrates, of bad;
    All that we read, hear, dream, of man's distresses;
      All that the devil would do, if run stark mad;
        All that defies the worst which pen expresses
          All by which hell is peopled, or is sad
            As hell--mere mortals who their power abuse--
              Was here (as heretofore and since) let loose.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

How peaceful and how powerful is the grave!
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Perhaps the early grave
  Which men weep over may be meant to save.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto IV, st. 12)

Of all
  The fools who flock'd to swell or see the show
    Who car'd about the corpse? The funeral
      Made the attraction, and the black the woe;
        There throbb'd not there a thought which pierc'd the pall.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Vision of Judgment (st. 10)

What's hallowed ground? Has earth a clod
  Its Maker mean'd not should be trod
    By man, the image of his God,
      Erect and free,
        Unscourged by Superstition's rod.
      - Thomas Campbell, Hallowed Ground

But an untimely grave.
      - Thomas Carew, On the Duke of Buckingham

Always the idea of unbroken quiet broods around the grave. It is a port where the storms of life never beat, and the forms that have been tossed on its chafing waves lie quiet forevermore. There the child nestles as peacefully as ever it lay in its mother's arms, and the workman's hands lie still by his side, and the thinker's brain is pillowed in silent mystery, and the poor girl's broken heart is steeped in a balm that extracts its secret woe, and is in the keeping of a charity that covers all blame.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

It is a port where the storms of life never beat, and the forms that have been tossed on its chafing waves lie quiet forevermore.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

The grave, where sets the orb of being, sets
  To rise, ascend, and culminate above
    Eternity's horizon evermore.
      - Abraham Coles

When the dusk of evening had come on, and not a sound disturbed the sacred stillness of the place,--when the bright moon poured in her light on tomb and monument, on pillar, wall, and arch, and most of all (it seemed to them) upon her quiet grave,--in that calm time, when all outward thins and inward thoughts teem with assurances of immortality, and worldly hopes and fears are humbled in the dust before them,--then, with tranquil and submissive hearts they turned away, and left the child with God.
      - Charles Dickens

Death ends our woes, and the kind grave shuts up the mournful scene.
      - John Dryden

Graves, the dashes in the punctuation of our lives. To the Christian they are but the place at which he gathers breath for a nobler sentence. To Christ, the grave was but the hyphen between man and God, for He was God-man.
      - George Duffield

The solitary, silent, solemn scene,
  Where Caesars, heroes, peasants, hermits lie,
    Blended in dust together; where the slave
      Rests from his labors; where th' insulting proud
        Resigns his powers; the miser drops his hoard:
          Where human folly sleeps.
      - John Dyer, Ruins of Rome (l. 540)

(Julian would learn something) even if he had one foot in the grave.
  [Lat., Etsi alterum pedem in sepulchro haberem.]
      - Desiderius Gerhard Erasmus,
        quoting Pomponius, of Julian, original phrase one foot in the ferry boat, Charon's boat

We adorn graves with flowers and redolent plants, just emblems of the life of man, which has been compared in the Holy Scriptures to those fading beauties whose roots, being buried in dishonor, rise again in glory.
      - John Evelyn

Alas, poor Tom! how oft, with merry heart,
  Have we beheld thee play the Sexton's part;
    Each comic heart must now be grieved to see
      The Sexton's dreary part performed on thee.
      - Robert Fergusson,
        Epigram on the Death of Mr. Thomas Lancashire, comedian

For ages the world has been waiting and watching; millions, with broken hearts, have hovered around the yawning abyss; but no echo has come back from the engulfing gloom--silence, oblivion, covers all. If indeed they survive; if they went away whole and victorious, they give us no signals. We wait for years, but no messages come from the far-away shore to which they have gone.
      - Randolph S. Foster

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
  Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
    Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
      The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
        The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
          The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
            The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
              No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
                For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
                  Or busy housewife ply her evening care;
                    No children run to lisp their sire's return,
                      Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
      - Thomas Gray

Each in his narrow cell forever laid, the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
      - Thomas Gray

Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
  The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
    Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
      Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
      - Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
  And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
    Await alike th' inevitable hour,
      The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
      - Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard

Fond fool! six feet shall serve for all thy store,
  And he that cares for most shall find no more.
      - Joseph Hall, Satires
         (no. III, second series)

Such graves as his are pilgrim shrines,
  Shrines to no code or creed confined,--
    The Delphian vales, the Palestines,
      The Meccas of the mind.
      - Fitz-Greene Halleck, Burns (st. 32)

Green be the turf above thee,
  Friend of my better days;
    None knew thee but to love thee
      Nor named thee but to praise.
      - Fitz-Greene Halleck,
        On the death of J.R. Drake


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