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´╗┐Title: Quaint Epitaphs
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Quaint Epitaphs" ***

produced from scanned images of public domain material

Transcriber's Notes

    Non-standard spellings, typos and non-standard punctuation have
    been left as they appear in the original, except in a few
    cases where standardization was needed for clarity.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Quaint Epitaphs"







This collection of epitaphs was started in a very modest fashion about
thirty-five years ago, when the compiler found great pleasure in
searching all the graveyards near her Vermont home for quaint
inscriptions upon old tombstones. It was neither a morbid curiosity nor
a spirit of melancholy that attracted her to the weather-beaten slabs of
marble and slate, but rather a fondness for studying human eccentricity
as revealed in whimsical epitaphs. In almost every graveyard one can

     "Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
     With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked"

and these have given many hours of pleasure to one who finds in such
sombre elegies of the dead most interesting reflections of the living.

As the only purpose of carrying on such odd researches was to satisfy a
fondness for freakish ingenuity, much less interest was found in the
thousands of amusing epitaphs that are penned by writers for comic
papers or by wags in general. Fictitious inscriptions lack the charm of
authenticity, which in the case of epitaphs is decidedly more desirable
than imagination. All selections which could not be definitely located
are classed by themselves, but many of these are known to have actually
existed, though for varying reasons the collector is unable to vouch for
their exact locality.

In a few instances the names have been changed, where it was thought
that verbatim copies of the epitaphs might prove invidious to the
relatives or friends of the dead. It is hoped that the division into
localities will prove a convenience to a majority of readers, who
naturally will not care to read such a book through at one sitting, but
rather to pick it up now and then when in the mood for such light
entertainment as it can afford. The spelling has necessarily been
changed at times from the antiquated and almost hieroglyphic forms which
would defy the most careful typography; but in general the orthography
and punctuation are copied verbatim from the originals.

The compiler trusts that it is not an act of unreasonable presumption to
publish a book of epitaphs when so many already exist. In fact it was
partly because of the numerous requests for an examination of her
collection that the plan of publishing it was adopted. Such an ambitious
consummation of her pleasant labor never occurred to her until her
original note-books became badly worn and torn in their travels from
friend to friend, from town to town, and it is hardly an exaggeration to
say that they have been from Portland to Portland, from Augusta to
Augusta, in response to the urgent requests of those who have in some
manner heard of their existence. If her collection is as kindly received
in book form as it has been in its less pretentious condition, the
editor will feel that its publication was not due to an immoderate
confidence in its variety and general interest.


     BOSTON, MASS., April 6, 1895.


       *       *       *       *       *



    Here lies the body of Richard Thomas, an Englishman by birth, a Whig
    of '76--a Cooper by trade, now food for worms. Like an old rum
    puncheon whose staves are all marked and numbered he will be raised
    and put together again by his Maker.

     Here lies the body of John Mound
     Lost at sea and never found.

     Here lies one Wood enclosed in wood,
     One Wood within another.
     The outer wood is very good,
     We cannot praise the other.


     The little hero that lies here
     Was conquered by the diarrhoea.


     Beneath this stone now dead to grief
     Lies Grid the famous Wokag chief.
     Pause here and think you learned prig,
     This man was once an Indian big.
     Consider this, ye lowly one,
     This man was once a big in--jun.
     Now he lies here, you too must rot,
     As sure as pig shall go to pot.

In the same churchyard.

     Here Betsy Brown her body lies.
     Her soul is flying in the skies.
     While here on earth she oftimes spun
     Six hundred skeins from sun to sun,
     And wove one day, her daughter brags,
     Two hundred pounds of carpet rags.




     I lost my life in the raging seas
     A sovereign God does as he please.
     The Kittery friends did then appear,
     And my remains they buried here.

     We can but mourn our loss,
     Though wretched was his life.
     Death took him from the cross,
     Erected by his wife.


     Our life is but a Winter's day.
     Some breakfast and away.
     Others to dinner stay and are well fed.
     The oldest sups and goes to bed.
     Large is his debt who lingers out the day,
     Who goes the soonest has the least to pay.

     John Phillips.

     Accidentally shot as a mark of affection by his brother.
     After life's fever, I sleep well.



     Here the old man lies
     No one laughs and no one cries
     Where he's gone or how he fares
     No one knows and no one cares.
     But his brother James and his wife Emeline
     They were his friends all the time.

     Here lies our young and blooming daughter--
     Murdered by the cruel and relentless Henry.
     When coming home from school he met her,
     And with a six self shooter, shot her.

     Here lies Cynthia, Stevens' wife
     She lived six years in calms and strife.
     Death came at last and set her free.
     I was glad and so was she.

     In youth he was a scholar bright.
     In learning he took great delight.
     He was a major's only son.
     It was by love he was undone.

     Here lies old Caleb Ham,
     By trade a bum.
     When he died the devil cried,
     Come, Caleb, come.


     Thomas Culbert.

     The voice of a stepfather beneath this
     Stone is to rest one, shamefully robbed
     In life by his wife's son, and Esq Tom
     And David Learys wife

     (The above is a verbatim copy.)


     Josiah Haines.

     He was a blessing to the saints,
     To sinners rich and poor,
     He was a kind and worthy man,
     He's gone to be no more.
     He kept the faith unto the end
     And left the world in peace.
     He did not for a doctor send
     Nor for a hireling priest.

     Mrs. Josiah Haines.

     Here beneath these marble stones
     Sleeps the dust and rests the bones
     Of one who lived a Christian life
     T'was Haines's--Josiah's wife.
     She was a woman full of truth
     And feared God from early youth.
     And priests and elders did her fight
     Because she brought her deeds to light.


     Here lies a man never beat by a plan,
     Straight was his aim and sure of his game,
     Never was a lover but invented a revolver.


A free negro, Amos Fortune, settled in Jaffrey more than one hundred
years ago, though warned off as a possible pauper, and left one quaint
bit of history--his estate, to the town. Part of it bought the communion
service still in use (1895.) On the gravestone of his wife is this

Sacred to the memory of Violate, by purchase the Slave of Amos Fortune,
by marriage his wife, by fidelity his companion and solace, and by his
death his widow.


Our little Jacob has been taken away to bloom in a superior flower pot

     My wife lies here.
     All my tears cannot bring her back;
     Therefore, I weep.

This little buttercup was bound to join the heavenly choir.


     Beneath this stone our baby lays
     He neither crys or hollers.
     He lived just one and twenty days,
     And cost us forty dollars.

     Charity wife of Gideon Bligh
     Underneath this stone doth lie
     Naught was she e'er known to do
     That her husband told her to.

     Here lies the wife of brother Thomas,
     Whom tyrant death has torn from us,
     Her husband never shed a tear,
     Until his wife was buried here.
     And then he made a fearful rout,
     For fear she might find her way out.

He first departed, she a little tried to live without him. Liked it not
and died.

     His illness lay not in one part
     But o'er his frame it spread.
     The fatal disease was in his heart
     And water in his head.

     In memory of Elizabeth Taylor.
     Could blooming years and modesty and all thats pleasing to the eye,
     Against grim death been a defence,
     Elizabeth had not gone hence.

     Died when young and full of promise
     Of whooping cough our Thomas.

     She lived with her husband fifty years
     And died in the confident hope of a better life.

     Stop dear parent cast your eye,
     And here you see your children lie.
     Though we are gone one day before,
     You may be cold in a minute more.

     Little Teddy, fare thee well,
     Safe from earth in Heaven to dwell.
     Almost Cherub here below,
     Altogether angel now.

On a tombstone for man and wife.

     In sunny days and stormy weather,
     In youth, and age, we clung together.
     We lived and loved, laughed and cried
     Together--and almost together died.


Behold! I come as a thief.

     Death loves a shining mark.
     In this case he had it.


Erected by a widower in memory of his two wives.

     This double call is laid to all,
     Let none surprise or wonder.
     But to the youth it speaks a truth,
     In accents loud as thunder.

     Stranger pause as you pass by;
     My thirteen children with me lie.
     See their faces how they shine
     Like blossoms on a fruitful vine.

A rum cough carried him off.

     Here lies the body of old Uncle David,
     Who died in the hope of being sa-ved.
     Where he's gone or how he fares,
     Nobody knows and nobody cares.

     The body that lies buried here
     By lightning fell, death's sacrifice,
     To him Elijah's fate was given
     He rode on flames of fire to heaven.

     Stay, reader, drop upon this stone
     One pitying tear and then be gone:
     A handsome pile of flesh and blood
     Is here sunk down in its first mud.

I was somebody--who? is no business of yours.

     My wife from me departed
     And robbed me like a knave;
     Which caused me broken hearted
     To sink into this grave.
     My children took an active part,
     To doom me did contrive;
     Which stuck a dagger in my heart
     That I could not survive.


     Open thine eyes Lord
     I come! I come!

Sacred to the memory of three twins.

     My glass is run; yours is running.
     Remember death and judgment coming.

     This stone was got to keep this lot.
     Her father bought. Dig not too near.

     Grim death took little Jerry,
     The son of Joseph and Sereno Howells,
     Seven days he wrestled with the dysentery
     And then he perished in his little bowels.


     Oh, little Lavina she has gone
     To James and Charles and Eliza Ann.
     Arm in arm they walk above
     Singing the Redeemer's love.



Phebe Sprague.

     In the sixteenth year of her age,
     Natively quick and spry
     As all young people be,
     When God commands them down to dust,
     How quick they drop you see.


     When I am dead and in my grave
     And all my bones are rotten,
     If this you see, remember me,
     Nor let me be forgotton.


Mary Hardy Goss Hill Sawin.

     Orphan of affection and grief, adopted by aunt and
         grandsire, nurse of their hospital home.
     Wife and widow of Dea John Hills.
     Happy wife in rural home of Thomas Sawin eight years.
     Often prisinor of calamity and pain.
     Exhile of inherited melancholy fifteen years.
     Patient waiter on decay and death.
     Lover of all who love Jesus.

     Here lies the body of Samuel Proctor
     Who lived and died without a doctor.

     Under these stones lies three children dear;
     Two are burried at Taunton and I lie here.


     In memory of Stephen Pynchon.

     One truth is certain when this life is o'er,
     Man dies to live and lives to die no more.


Julia Webster Appleton.

"Let me go for the day breaketh."


"An eclipse at meridian."

     Here lies one John Witherbee,
     A Boston gallant chap was he.
     God had no use for such as he,
     The devil rejected Witherbee.

     Here lies a man beneath this sod,
     Who slandered all except his God,
     And him he would have slandered too,
     But that his God he never knew.


     Here lies the body of Thomas Vernon,
     The only surviving son of Admiral Vernon.

     Here lies the bones of Richard Lawton
     Whose death alas! was strangely brought on.
     Trying his corns one day to mow off.
     His razor slipped and cut his toe off.
     His toe or rather what it grew to,
     An inflimation quickly flew to.
     Which took alas! to mortifying
     And was the cause of Richards dying.


Dea Lemuel Willard
Died in 1821

     When present useful, absent wanted
     Lived respected, died lamented.

Bishop Jewel

He wrote learnedly, preached painfully, lived piously, died peacefully.

John Safford.

     Crushed as a moth beneath Thy hands
     We moulder back to dust.
     Our feeble frames cannot withstand
     And all our beauty's lost.
     This mortal life decays apace
     How soon the bubble's broke.
     Adam and all his numerous race
     Are vanity and smoke.

John Daby.

     Tis but a few whole days amount
     To three score years and ten;
     And all beyond that short account
     Is sorrow toil and pain.
     Our vitals with laborious strife
     Bear up the crazy load,
     And drag these poor remains of life
     Along the toilsome road.

BOSTON. (Granary Burying Ground.)

     Here I lie bereft of breath
     Because a cough carried me off;
     Then a coffin they carried me off in.


     This world's a city, full of crooked streets;
     And Death the market place where all men meets.
     If life were merchandize that men could buy
     The rich would live and none but poor would die.

Of pneumonia supervening consumption complicated with other diseases,
the main symptom of which was insanity.

     Submit, submitted to her heavenly King
     Being a flower of the etheral Spring--
     Near three years old she died--In Heaven to wait
     The year was sixteen hundred forty eight.


Ezekiel Rogers, Minister
Died in 1660.

With the youth he took great pains, and was a tree of knowledge laden
with fruit which the children could reach.

Epitaph of Rev. Jonathan Mitchel, pastor of the first church in
Cambridge. Died July 9, 1668.

     Here lies the darling of his time
     Mitchel expired in his prime.
     Who four years short of forty seven
     Was found full ripe and plucked for Heaven.


     Of seven sons the Lord his father gave,
     He was the fourth who found a watery grave.
     Fifteen days had passed since the circumstance occurred,
     When his body was found and decently interred.


     John and Lydia, that blooming pair,
     A whale killed him and her body lies here.


     There were three brothers went to sea
     Who were never known to wrangle
     Holmes Hole--cedar pole
     Crinkle, crinkle crangle.

Three brothers started for Holmes Hole in an open boat for cedar poles,
and on the passage were killed by lightning, represented by the
_crinkle, crinkle, crangle_.

     Time was I stood as thou doest now
     And viewed the dead as thou doest me.
     E'er long thou'l lie as low as I
     And others stand to look on thee.


A blacksmith's epitaph composed by himself.

     My sledge and hammer lie reclined,
     My bellows too have lost their wind,
     My fire's extinct, my forge decayed,
     And in the dust my vice is laid.
     My iron spent, my coal is gone,
     My nails are drove--my work is done.


     Indulgent world I bid adieu.
     Farewell, dear friends, farewell to you.
     No more kindness can I show,
     To any creature here below.
     I am invited to my tomb,
     To sleep awhile till Jesus come.


     Here lies the body of Dr Hayward,
     A man who never voted.
     Of such is the kingdom of Heaven.


Agreeable to the memory of
Mrs Alinda Tewksbury.

She was not a beleiver in the Christian idolitry.


Erected by the creditors of a bachelor Irishman.

     Hibernia's son himself exiled,
     Without an inmate, wife or child,
        He lived alone.
     And when he died, his purse, though small,
     Contained enough to pay us all,
        And buy this stone.

Rebecca Nourse
Yarmouth Eng 1621
Salem Mass 1692

Accused of witchcraft she declared "I am innocent and God will clear my
innocency." Once acquitted yet falsely condemned she suffered death July
19th, 1692.

     O Christian Martyr who for truth could die,
     When all about thee owned the hideous lie
     The world redeemed from superstition's sway,
     Is breathing freer for thy sake to-day.



Composed by the deceased.

Partridge Thacher.

Rest here, my body, till the Archangel's voice more sonorous far than
nine fold thunder, wakes the sleeping dead; then rise to thy just sphere
and be my house immortal.

     On a babe four days old.

     Since I so very soon was done for
     I wonder what I was begun for.

     Here lies the body of Obadiah Wilkinson
         And Ruth, his wife.
     Their warfare is accomplished.

     Franklin White.

     Here lies Frank a shining light
     Whose name, life, actions all were white.

     Reader pass on. Don't waste your time
     On bad biography and bitter rhyme.
     For what I am this crumbling clay assures,
     And what I was is no affair of yours.

     God works a wonder now and then,
     He though a lawyer was an honest man.

     Dr. Somerby.

     At length a grave spots for him provided,
     Where all through him so many of us died did.

     Early, bright, chaste as morning dew,
     She sparkled, was exalted and went to heaven.


     Lieut. Nathan Davis.
     Died in 1781.

     Death is a debt that's justly due,
     That I have paid and so must you.

     Elizabeth, wife of Nathan Davis.
     Died 1786.

     This debt I owe is justly due,
     And I am come to sleep with you.



     Underneath this pile of stones
     Lie's all thats left of Sally Jones.
     Her name was Lord it was not Jones.
     But Jones was used to ryme with stones.

     Mary Drummond Smith.

     Neuralgia worked on Mrs. Smith
     'Till neath the sod it laid her.
     She was a worthy Methodist
     And served as a crusader.


     She was in health at 11.30 A. M.
     And left for Heaven at 3.30 P. M.


Here lies one who never sacrificed his reason to superstitious God, nor
ever believed that Jonah swallowed the whale.


     Trinity Churchyard.

     Tho' Boreas' blasts and boisterous waves
     Have tossed me to and fro,
     In spite of both by God's decree
     I harbor here below;
     Where I do now at anchor ride
     With many of our fleet,
     Yet once again I must set sail,
     My Admiral Christ to meet.

     Alden White.

     Grim death took me without any warning,
     I was well one day, and stone dead next morning.

     Madeline White.

     God takes the good too good on earth to stay,
     God leaves the bad too bad to take away.

     Sarah Thomas is dead and that's enough
     The candle is out and so is the snuff
     Her soul is in Heaven you need not fear
     And all that's left is buried here.


     The pale consumption gave the mortal blow.
     The fate was certain although the event was slow.

     While on earth my knee was lame,
     I had to nurse and heed it.
     But now I'm at a better place,
     Where I don't even need it.

     Her blooming cheeks were no defence
     Against the scarlet fever.
     In five day's time she was cut down,
     To dwell with Christ forever.

     Moses White.

     His grand excellence was that he was genuine.

     Father and Mother and I
     Choose to be buried asunder.
     Father and Mother here,
     And I buried yonder.

     Julia King.

     I go to meet my brother.

     John Dale
     and his two wives.

     A period's come to all their toilsome lives,
     The good man's quiet--still are both his wives.


     Grieve not for me my Harriet dear
     For I am better off,
     You know what were my sufferings
     And what a dreadful cough.

     David Stuart

     A loving father and companion,
     Follow me as I have--Jesus.


     Underneath this stone doeth lie
     As much virtue as could die;
     Which when alive did vigor give
     To as much of beauty as could live.

     Amos Judge
     (Coal dealer.)

     He gave full weight to all t'is said
     And did it without vaunting;
     When in the ballance he is weighed
     He will not be found wanting.

     William Newhall.

     He 'rose in health at early dawn
     To hail the new born year:
     Before the evening shade came on
     He finished his career.

     He was a man of invention great
     Above all who he lived nigh;
     But he could not invent to live
     When God called him to die.

     A thousand ways cut short our days,
     None are exempt from death.
     A honey-bee by stinging me
     Did stop my mortal breath.

     He got a fish bone in his throat
     And then he sang an angel's note.

     Here lies a kind and loving wife,
     A tender nursing mother;
     A neighbor free from brawl and strife,
     A pattern for all others.

     To the memory of
     Susan Mum.

     Silence is wisdom.

     This corpse
     Phebe Thorps.

     Neal Keven.

     His accounts were found square to a cent.

A Watch-maker's Epitaph

Copied from a tomb-stone in Wales by old Sexton Brown, the once famous
sexton of Grace Church, N. Y.

Here lies in a horizontal position the outside case of George Rutlege
watch-maker, whose abilities in that line were an honor to his

Integrity was the main-spring of all the actions of his life. Humane,
honest and industrious his hands never stopped until they had relieved

He had the art of disposing of his time in such a way that he never went
wrong except when set agoing by persons who did not know his key, and
even then was easily set right again.

He departed this life wound up in the hope of being taken in hand by his
Maker, thoroughly cleaned, regulated and repaired and set going in the
world to come.


PHILADELPHIA. Christ's Churchyard.

(Written by himself when twenty-three years of age.)

The body of Benjamen Franklin, printer like the cover of an old book its
contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding, lies here
food for worms.

Yet the work itself shall not be lost for it will, as he believed,
appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition corrected and
amended by the author.

Carved on a little stone in a Maryland churchyard, after the name of the

"He held the pall at the funeral of Shakspeare."


     (On a child struck by lightning.)

     Struck by thunder.

     Stranger pause my tale attend,
     And learn the cause of Hannah's end.
     Across the world the wind did blow,
     She ketched a cold that laid her low.
     We shed a lot of tears 'tis true,
     But life is short--aged 82.

     Here lies my wife in earthly mould,
     Who when she lived did naught but scold.
     Peace! wake her not, for now she's still,
     She had; but now I have my will.


To the memory of a female stranger whoes mortal sufferings ended Oct.
14th 1816.

     How valued, how loved once, avails thee not
     To whom related, or by whom begot.
     A heap of dust alone remains of thee,
     Tis all thou art and all the proud shall be.

     Peter Letig was his name,
     Heaven I hope his station,
     Baltimore was his dwelling place
     And Christ is his salvation.

     The milk of human kindness was my own dear cherub wife
     I'll never find another one as good in all my life.
           She bloomed, she blossomed, she decayed,
           And under this tree her body we laid.

Mr. James Danner, late of Louisville, having been laid by the side of
his four wives, received this touching epitaph:

     An excellent husband was this Mr. Danner,
     He lived in a thoroughly honorable manner.
           He may have had troubles,
           But they burst like bubbles,
     He's at peace, now with Mary, Jane, Susan and Hannah.


     Henrietta thou was mild and lovely,
     Gentle as a summer breeze;
     Pleasant as the air of evening,
     When it floats among the trees.
     With triumph on her tongue
     With radiance on her brow,
     She passed to that exalted throng
     And shares their glory now.

     They were two loving sisters,
     Who in this dust do lie.
     The very day Annie was buried
     Elizabeth did die.

     My father and mother were both insane
     I inherited the terrible stain.
     My grandfather, grandmother, aunts and uncles
     Were lunatics all, and yet died of carbuncles.

     Here lies the bones of David Jones,
     Laid both dead and dumb.
     He read a law and plead a cause
     But died from drinking rum.

     Over the grave of a brave engineer.

     Until the brakes are turned on time,
     Life's throttle-valve shut down,
     He works to pilot in the crew
     That wears the martyr's crown.
     On schedule time, on upper grade
     Along the homeward section,
     He lands his train in God's roundhouse
     The morn of resurrection.
     His time is full, no wages docked,
     His name on God's pay roll,
     And transportation through to Heaven
     A free pass for his soul.

     Elizabeth Scott lies buried here.
     She was born Nov 20th 1785,
     according to the best of her recollection.


She lived a life of virtue and died of the cholera morbus, caused by
eating green fruit in hope of a blessed immortality.

Reader, go thou and do likewise.

Sacred to the memory of Henry Harris who died from a kick by a colt in
his bowells.

Peacable and quiet, a friend to his father and mother, respected by all
who knew him--gone to the world where horses don't kick, where sorrow
and weeping are no more.

     Here lies my twins as dead as nits
     One died of fever the other of fits.

     Some have children others none,
     Here lies the mother of twenty one.


     Here lie two grandsons of
     John Hancock, first signer of the
     Declaration of Independence.
     (Their names are respectively Geo. M.
     and John H. Hancock)
     and their eminence hangs on
     their having had a grandfather.


     Beneath this stone, a lump of clay,
       Lies Arabella Young,
     Who on the twenty first of May
       Began to hold her tongue.

     Ebenezer Dockwood aged forty seven,
     A miser and a hypocrite and never went to Heaven.

     Within this grave do lie.
     Back to back my wife and I.
     When the last trump the air shall fill,
     If she gets up I'll just lie still.

     Mammy and I together lived,
     Just three years and a half.
     She went first, I followed next,
     The cow before the calf.

A man had cremated four wives, and the ashes, kept in four urns, being
overturned and fallen together, were buried at last and had this droll

     Stranger pause and shed a tear,
     For Mary Jane lies buried here.
     Mingled in a most surprising manner
     With Susan, Marie and portions of Hannah.

     Sacred to the memory
     Of Miss Martha Grimm.
     She was so very spare within,
     She burst the outward shell of sin
     And hatched herself a cherubim.

     No doctor ever physicked me,
     Was never near my side.
     But when fever came I thought of the name,
     And that was enough--I died.

     This is to the memory of Ellen Hill,
     A woman who would always have her will.
     She snubbed her husband but she made good bread
     Yet on the whole he's rather glad she's dead.
     She whipped her children and she drank her gin,
     Whipped virtue out and whipped the devil in.
     May all such women go to some great fold
     Where they through all eternity may scold.

Sacred to the memory of William Skaradon who came to his death by being
shot with a Colts revolver, one of the old kind brass mounted and of
such is the kingdom of heaven.

     Timothy Egan

     He heard the angels calling him,
     From the celestial shore.
     He flopped his wings and away he flew
     To make one angel more.

     Here lies the body of Mary Ford
     We hope her soul is with the Lord.
     But if for tophet she's changed this life,
     Better be there than J. Ford's wife.

     A zealous locksmith died of late,
     And did not enter Heaven's gate.
     But stood without and would not knock
     Because he meant to pick the lock.

     Ashes to ashes dust to dust,
     Here lies George Emery I trust.
     And when the trump blows louder and louder
     He'll rise a box of Emery powder.

     There was a man who died of late,
     Whom angels did impatient wait
     With outstretched arms and smiles of love
     To take him up to the realms above.
     While hovering 'round the lower skies
     Still disputing for the prize,
     The devil slipped in like a weasil
     And down to Hell he took old Kezle.

     Here lies interred Priscilla Bird
     Who sang on earth till sixty two.
     Now up on high above the sky
     No doubt she sings like sixty--too.

     Here lies Jane Smith,
     Wife of Thomas Smith, Marble Cutter.

This monument was erected by her husband as a tribute to her memory and
a specimen of his work.

Monuments of this same style are two hundred and fifty dollars.

     A Cricket Player's Epitaph.

     In the pride of his manhood he heard the last call,
     Though first in the field where his feet pressed the sod.
     He hath gained his last wicket and thrown his last ball,
     To join in the choir 'round the throne of his God.

     Here lies the body of Susan Lowder
     Who burst while drinking a _Sedlit_ powder.
     Called from this world to her heavenly rest
     She should have waited till it effervesced.

     A man of letters it seems was he;
     The college made him L.L. D.
     The Order a P. G. W. C.
     Grim death has given him the G. B.
     And may his ashes R. I. P.

     After cremation.

     And this is all that's left of thee
     Thou fairest of earth's daughters.
     Only four pounds of ashes white
     Out of two hundred and three quarters.

James Payn, the novelist, speaks of this epitaph as "pathetic and

     Here lies an old woman who always was tired,
     For she lived in a house where help was not hired;
     And her last words on earth were,
     Dear friends I am going
     Where no washing is done nor sweeping or sewing.
     Where all things will be exact to my wishes,
     For where there's no eating there's no washing of dishes.
     I'll be where loud anthems are constantly ringing
     But having no voice I shall get clear of singing.
     She folded her hands with her latest endeavor
     And sighing she whispered sweet nothing forever.

     Alpha White
     Weight 309 lbs.

     Open wide ye golden gates
     That lead to the heavenly shore.
     Our father suffered in passing through
     And mother weighs much more.

     The winter snow congealed his form
     But now we know our Uncle's warm.

     Our papa dear has gone to Heaven
     To make arrangements for eleven.

     Epitaph on a dentist.

     View this gravestone with gravity
     He is filling his last cavity.

     Here lies Dodge, who dodged all good
     And dodged a deal of evil.
     But after dodging all he could
     He could not dodge the devil.

On the tombstone of a disagreeable old man.

     "Deeply regretted by all who never knew him."

     Here lies Jim Shaw, attorney-at-law.
     When he died the devil cried,
     Give me your paw, Jim Shaw,
     Attorney at law.

     Here lies my wife a sad slatterned shrew
     If I said I regretted her I should lie too.

     Here lies Ann Mann.
     She lived an old maid
     But died an old Mann.

     Here lies Ned Hyde because he died.
     If it had been his sister
     We should not have missed her.
     But would rather it had been his father
     Or for the good of the nation
     The whole generation.

     On a well-known pill doctor.

     His virtues and his pills are so well known
     That envy can't confine them under stone.

     Throughout his life he kneaded bread
     And deemed it quite a bore.
     But now six feet beneath earth's crust
     He needeth bread no more.

     Listen, Mother, Aunt and me
     Were killed, here we be.
     We should not had time to missle
     Had they blown the engine whistle.

     Here lies the remains of
     John Hall grocer.

     The world is not worth a fig
     I have good _raisins_ for saying so.

Amanda Lowe.

She loved me and my grandchildren reverenced her. She bathed my feet and
kept my socks well darned.

     A bird, a man, a loaded gun.
     No bird, dead man, thy will be done.



     Queen Elizabeth.

     (By Laureate Skelton.)

     Fame blow aloud, and to the world proclaim,
     There never ruled such a royal dame!
     The word of God was ever her delight,
     In it she meditated day and night.
     Spain's rod, Rome's ruin, Netherland's relief,
     Earth's joy, England's gem, world's wonder,
     Nature's chief.
     She was and is, what can there more be said,
     On earth the chief, in Heaven the second made.


     (Ascribed to Lord Byron.)

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


     The Lord was good I was lopping off wood
       And down fell from a tree.
     I met with a check that broke my neck
       And so God lopped off me.

Here lies John Higley whose father and mother were drowned in their
passage from America. Had they both lived they would have been buried


     Here lies Martin Elmrod.
     Have mercy on my soul, good God
     As I would do were I Lord God
     And you were Martin Elmrod.

     Here lies Thomas Smith
     And what is somewhat rareish,
     He was born bred and hanged
     In this e'er parish.

     Here I lie at the chancel door
     And I lie here because I am poor;
     For the farther in the more you pay,
     But here I lie as warm as they.


     Death comes to all, none can resist his dart
     At his command the dearest friends must part.
     A mournful widow who this truth doth own
     In gratitude erects this humble stone.


     Here lies the body of
         John Smith.
     Buried in the cloisters
     If he don't jump at the last trump,
     Call, Oysters!


     If Heaven be pleased when sinners cease to sin,
     If Hell be pleased when sinners enter in,
     If earth be pleased when ridded of a knave,
     Then all are pleased for Coleman's in his grave.

Samuel Gardner was blind in one eye and in a moment of confusion he
stepped out of a receiving and discharging door in one of the warehouses
into the ineffable glories of the celestial sphere.

To the memory of Ric Richards who by a gangrene first lost a toe, then a
leg and lastly his life.

     Ah cruel Death to make three meals of one,
     To taste and eat, and eat till all was gone.
     But know thou tyrant when the trump shall call,
     He'll find his feet, and stand where thou shalt fall.

     Poet & Shoemaker.
     Joseph Blackett.

     Stranger behold interred together
     The lords of learning and of leather.
     Poor Joe is gone but left his _awl_
     You'll find his relics in a stall.
     His works were neat and often found
     Well stitched and with morocco bound.
     Tread lightly where the bard is laid;
     He cannot mend the shoe he made.
     Yet he is happy in his hole
     With verse immortal as his soul;
     But still to business he held fast
     And stuck to Pheabus to the _last_.
     Then who shall say so good a fellow
     Was only leather and prunello?
     For character he did not lack it
     And if he did't were shame to Blackett.

     Poor Betty Conway, she drank lemonade at a masquerade,
     So now she's dead and gone away.

     Robert Master, Undertaker.

     Here lies Bob Master. Faith! t'was very hard
     To take away an honest Robin's breath.
     Yes, surely Robin was full well prepared
     For he was always looking out for death.

Taken from "The Lady's Magazine and Musical Repository," Jan., 1801.

Epitaph on a Bird.

Here lieth, aged three months the body of Richard Acanthus a young
person of unblemished character. He was taken in his callow infancy from
the wing of a tender parent by the rough and pitiless hand of a
two-legged animal without feathers.

Though born with the most aspiring disposition and unbending love of
freedom he was closely confined in a grated prison and scarcely
permitted to view those fields of which he had an undoubted charter.

Deeply sensible of this infringement of his natural rights he was often
heard to petition for redress in the most plaintive notes of harmonious
sorrow. At length his imprisoned soul burst the prison which his body
could not and left a lifeless heap of beauteous feathers.

If suffering innocence can hope for retribution, deny not to the gentle
shade of this unfortunate captive the humble though uncertain hope of
animating some happier form; or trying his new fledged pinions in some
happy elysium, beyond the reach of
the tyrant of this lower world.

     On three children.

     "Who plucked my choicest flowers?" the gardener cried
     "The Master did," a well known voice replied.
     "'Tis well they are all his" the gardener said,
     And meekly bowed his reverential head.

     Beneath this stone in sound repose
     Lies William Rich of Lydeard Close.
     Eight wives he had yet none survive
     And likewise children eight times five,
     From whom an issue vast did pour
     Of great grandchildren five times four.
     Rich born, rich bred, yet Fate adverse
     His wealth and fortune did reverse.
     He lived and died immensely poor
     July the tenth aged ninety-four.


Here rest the remains of Alexander McKinstry.

A kind husband, tender parent, dutiful son, affectionate brother,
faithful friend, generous master, and obliging neighbor. The house looks
desolate and mourns, every door groans doleful as it turns. The pillars
languish and each silent wall in grief laments the masters fall.

     Joseph Horton, Pedlar.

     I lodged have in many a town
     And travelled many a year.
     Till age and death have brought me down
     To my last lodging here.


     Here lies the body of Robert Gordon,
     Mouth almighty and teeth according.
     Stranger tread lightly on this wonder,
     If he opens his mouth you are gone to thunder.

     Here under this sod and under these trees
     Is buried the body of Solomon Pease.
     But here in this hole lies only his pod
     His soul is shelled out and gone up to God.

     Sacred to the memory of Anthony Drake,
     Who died for peace and quietness sake.
     His wife was constantly scolding and scoffing,
     So he sought repose in a twelve dollar coffin.

     At rest beneath this slab of stone,
     Lies stingy Jimmy Wyett.
     He died one morning just at ten
     And saved a dinner by it.

     Here lies the body of Sarah Sexton
     She was a wife that never vexed one.
     But I can't say as much for the one at the next stone.

     I Dionysius underneath this tomb
     Some sixty years of age have reached my doom.
     Ne'er having married, think it sad,
     And I wish my father never had.

     Underneath this marble hearse
     Lies the subject of all verse;
     Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother.
     Death ere thou hast slain another
     Wise and fair and good as she
     Time shall throw a dart at thee.


     Here lies two brothers by misfortune surrounded;
     One died of his wounds but the other was drownded.

     Epitaph of Susan Blake.
     Written by Sir Thomas Moore at her urgent entreaty.

     Good Susan Blake in royal state
     Arrived at last at Heaven's gate.

(After an absence of years and having fallen out with her he added these
two lines.)

     "But Peter met her with a club
     And knocked her back to Beelzebub."

     Beneath this stone in hopes of Zion,
     Doeth lay the landlord of the Lion.
     His son keeps in the business still
     Resigned unto His heavenly will.

     John Palfryman who is buried here
     Was aged four and twenty years.
     And near this place his Mother lies
     Likewise his father when he dies.


     Farewell vain world I've had enough of thee,
     And value not what thou canst say of me;
     Thy smiles I court not, nor thy frowns I fear,
     All's one to me, my head lies quiet here;
     What faults thou'st seen in me take care to shun
     And look at home, there's something to be done

     Like a tender rose-tree was my spouse to me.
     Her offspring plucked too long deprived of life is she.
     Three went before, her life went with the sixth:
     I stay with the three our sorrows for to mix,
     Till Christ our only hope our joys doth fix.


     My grandfather was buried here,
     My cousin Jane and two uncles, dear.
     My father perished with inflammation of the eyes.
     My sister dropped dead in a nunnery.
     But the reason why I am here interred according to my thinking,
     Is owing to my good living and hard drinking,
     If therefore, good Christians, you wish to live long
     Don't drink to much wine, brandy, gin, or any thing strong.

     Beneath this monumental stone
     Lies half a ton of flesh and bone.


     Good friends for Jesus' sake forbear
     To stir the dust enclosed here.
     Blest be the man who spares these stones
     And cursed be he who moves my bones.


     Here lies old twenty five per cent.
     The more he had the more he lent.
     The more he had the more he craved,
     Great God, can his poor soul be saved?


     Fred McKernan, Aged three years.

     Johnie wants to know where do you now stay
     Or with whom do you now play,
     Or where do you roam?
     For the little iron cot
     Your poor mother bought
     Still waits for you at home.


     Mrs David Stuart

     For twenty years and eight I lived a maiden's life
     And five and thirty years I was a married wife.
     And in that space of time eight children I did bear,
     Four sons, four daughters who I ever loved most dear;
     Three of that number as the Scriptures run,
     Preached up the way to Heaven--and Hell to shun.

Maiden Lillard,

A young Scotch woman, who at the battle of Ancrum, 1545, distinguished
herself by her extraordinary valor.

     Fair Maiden Lillard lies under this sod.
     Little was her statue but great was her fame.
     Upon the English loons she laid many thumps,
     And when her legs were cut off she fought upon her stumps.

     Here lies a man who all his mortal life
     Spent mending clocks, but could not mend his wife.
     The larum of his bell was ne'er so shrill
     As was her tongue, aye, clacking like a mill.
     But now he's gone--oh whither none can tell
     But hope beyond the sound of Matty's bell.


     Adah Isaac Menkin.

     "Thou knowest."

Lord Byron's epitaph on his Newfoundland dog at Newstead.

     "To mark a friend's remains
     These stones arise.
     I never knew but one
     And here he lies."


     Here lies John Hill, a man of skill,
     His age was five times ten.
     He ne'er did good nor ever would
     Had he lived as long again.

     Beneath these stones repose the bones
       of Theodosious Grimm.
     He took his beer from year to year
     And then the bier took him.

     (On a butcher whose name was Lamb.)

     Beneath this stone lies Lamb asleep,
     Who died a Lamb who lived a sheep.
     Many a lamb and sheep he slaughtered
     But cruel Death the scene has altered.

Rose Clifford.

This tomb doth here enclose the world's most beauteous Rose.

     Here lies John Quebecca
     precentor to My Lord the King.

When he is admitted to the choir of angels whose society he will
embellish and where he will distinguish himself by his powers of
song--God shall say to the angels--

     Cease ye calves! and let me hear
     John Quebecca, the precentor of
     My Lord the King.


     A traveller lies here at rest
     Who life's rough ocean tossed on.
     His many virtues all expressed
     Thus simply--"_I'm from Boston_."


     On a brickmaker.

     Keep death and judgment always in your eye
     Or else the devil off with you will fly
     And in his kiln with burning brimstone ever fry.
     If you neglect the narrow road to seek
     Christ will respect you like a half burned brick.

     Patrick Bay, Innholder.

     Killed by an ignorant Physician.
     Not Fate or Death but doctor Rowe
     Advanced to give the deadly blow
     That smote me to the shades below.
     Had Death alone approached too nigh,
     Had Fate or Nature bid me die,
     I must have borne it patiently.

     But to be robbed of life and ease
     By such infernal quacks as these
     And pay, beside their modest fees!
     Now folks that travel by this way,
     Pointing toward my tomb shall say,
     "There lies the bones of Patrick Bay--
     Who ne'er a cheerful glass denied,
     All force of arms, and grog defied,
     Yet by a vile Jack Pudding died."

     John Scott

     Poor John Scott is buried here
       Tho' once he was both hale and stout.
     Death stretched him on his bitter bier,
       In another world he hops about.

     Received of Philip Harding
     his borrowed earth July 4th 1673.

     The Duke of Norfolk, a great whist player.

     (By Sheridan.)

     Here lies England's premier baron,
     Patiently awaiting the last trump.

     Here lies a Cardinal who wrought
       Both good and evil in his time.
     The good he did was good for naught
       Not so the evil--that was prime.

Elihu Yale, the founder of Yale College at New Haven, lies buried in
Wrenham, Wales. His monument bears this inscription:

     Born in America, in Europe bred
     In Africa traveled in Asia wed,
     Where long he lived and thrived
     And at London died.
     Much good, some ill he did so hope all's even
     And his soul through mercy is gone to Heaven.
     You that survive and read this tale take care,
     For this most certain event to prepare;
     Where blest in peace the actions of the just
     Smell sweet and blossom in the silent dust.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Quaint Epitaphs" ***

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