Epitaphs Quotes

A

  • Adams, John Quincy (by himself), 1767 – 1848
    o “This is the last of Earth! I am content!”

  • Aikle, Ezekial (unknown)
    o “Here Lies Ezekial Aikle Aged 102 The Good Die Young”
    + from East Dalhousie, Nova Scotia, Canada

  • Alexander the Great (unknown)
    o “A tomb now suffices him for whom the world was not enough”

  • Gracie Allen and George Burns (themselves)
    o “Together again.”

  • Susan B. Anthony (unknown)
    o “Liberty, Humanity, Justice, Equality”

    B

  • Clyde Barrow (unknown) – 1909-1934
    o “Gone but not forgotten.”
    + Buried beside, and sharing a tombstone with, his brother Marvin (aka “Buck”).
    + Outlaw, bank robber and partner of Bonnie Parker

  • Hilaire Belloc (unknown) – 1870-1953
    o “When I am dead, I hope it may be said: His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.”
    + from Sonnets and Verse ‘On His Books’

  • Quniaron Bellthing (unknown) – 1930-2004
    o “Well this was fun, let’s do it again sometime.”
    + Grave in Scotland.

  • Jakob Bernoulli (by himself) – 1654-1705
    o “Eadem mutata resurgo”
    + Translation: “Though changed I shall arise the same”
    + Referring to the accompanying inscription of a logarithmic spiral, which remains the same after mathematical transformations. He considered it a symbol of ressurrection. CLARIFICATION: Bernoulli called the logarithmis spiral Spira mirabilis, “the marvelous spiral”, and wanted one engraved on his headstone. Unfortunately, an Archimedean spiral was placed there instead (picture).

  • Billy the Kid (unknown)
    o “Truth and History.
    21 Men.
    The Boy Bandit King
    He Died As He Lived
    William H. Bonney ‘Billy the Kid'”

  • Mel Blanc (by himself)
    o “That’s all, folks!”
    + Trademark line of cartoon character Porky Pig, whose voice was provided by Blanc for many years.

  • William Bligh (unknown)
    o “Sacred
    To The Memory Of
    William Bligh, Esquire F.R.S.
    Vice Admiral Of The Blue,
    The Celebrated Navigator
    Who First Transplanted The Breadfruit Tree
    From Otahette To The West Indies,
    Bravely fought The Battles Of His Country
    And Died Beloved, Respected, And Lamented
    On The 7th Day Of December, 1817
    Aged 64”

  • Ludwig Boltzmann (by himself) – 1844-1906
    o “S = k log W”
    + The formula for entropy of a system. Boltzmann committed suicide after failing to convince contemporary scientists of the validity of the formula. Grave in the Zentralfriedhof, Vienna.

  • John Brown (unknown)
    o “Stranger! Approach this spot with gravity!
    John Brown is filling his last cavity.”

  • Charles Bukowski (by himself)
    o “Don’t Try”

  • Samuel Butler (by Samuel Wesley) – 1612-1680
    o “While Butler, needy wretch, was yet alive,
    No generous patron would a dinner give;
    See him, when starv’d to death, and turn’d to dust,
    Presented with a monumental bust.
    The poet’s fate is here in emblem shown,
    He ask’d for bread, and he received a stone.”

    C

  • Al Capone (by himself)
    o “My Jesus, mercy”

  • Andrew Carnegie (unknown)
    o “Here lies a man who knew how to enlist the service of better men than himself.”

  • George Washington Carver (unknown)
    o “He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.”

  • Walter Chiari (by himself)
    o “O friends, don’t cry – it’s just unused sleep.”

  • Winston Churchill (unknown)
    o I am ready to meet my Maker.
    Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge (by himself)
    o “Stop, Christian Passer-by! – Stop, child of God,
    And read with gentle breast. Beneath this sod
    A poet lies, or that which once seem’d he.
    O, lift one thought in prayer for S.T.C.;
    That he who many a year with toil of breath
    Found death in life, may here find life in death!
    Mercy for praise – to be forgiven for fame
    He ask’d, and hoped, through Christ. Do thou the same!”

  • Ian Curtis (Himself)
    o “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
    + Singer/Songwriter of the band Joy Division
    + Chosen for his headstone by his wife Deborah Curtis

    D

  • Rodney Dangerfield (himself) – 1921-2004
    o “There goes the neighborhood.”

  • Bette Davis (unknown)
    o “She did it the hard way”

  • Jefferson Davis (unknown)
    o “At Rest
    An American Soldier
    And Defender of the Constitution”

  • Emily Dickinson (herself)
    o “Called back”

  • John Donne (Himself)
    o “John Donne
    Undone.”

  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (unknown)
    o “Steel-true and blade-straight
    The great artificer
    Made my mate.”

  • Diophantus of Alexandria (unknown)
    o “This tomb holds Diophantus. Ah, what a marvel! And the tomb tells scientifically the measure of his life. God vouchsafed that he should be a boy for the sixth part of his life; when a twelfth was added, his cheeks acquired a beard; He kindled for him the light of marriage after a seventh, and in the fifth year after his marriage He granted him a son. Alas! late-begotten and miserable child, when he had reached the measure of half his father’s life, the chill grave took him. After consoling his grief by this science of numbers for four years, he reached the end of his life.”

    E

  • Wyatt Earp (unknown)
    o Nothing’s So Sacred As Honor
    And
    Nothing’s So Loyal As Love.

  • Eazy-E (Eric Wright)
    o Now I’m in the biggest fight of my life, and it ain’t easy. But I want to say much love to those who have been down to me. And thanks for your support.

  • Robert Emmett (Himself) – 1778-1803
    o “Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times, and other men, can do justice to my character; when my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then, and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I have done.”

  • Edward I of England (unknown)
    o “Hic est Edwardvs Primus Scottorum Malleus”
    + Translation: “Here is Edward I, Hammer of the Scots”

  • Gregory Alan Elliott (Canadian)
    o Don’t waste your short life reading epitaphs like this.

    F

  • W.C. Fields (unknown)- 1880-1946
    o “W. C. Fields 1880 – 1946”
    o In a 1925 article in Vanity Fair Fields had proposed the epitaph “Here lies W.C. Fields. I would rather be living in Philadelphia.” because of his long-standing jokes about Philadelphia (he was actually born there), and the grave being one place he might actually not prefer to be. This is often repeated as “On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.” which he might have stated at other times, and sometimes is distorted into a last dig at Philadelphia: “Better here than in Philadelphia.” His actual tomb at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California simply reads as above.

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald (himself; from The Great Gatsby)
    o “So we beat on, boats against
    the current, borne back
    ceaselessly into the past.”

  • Benjamin Franklin (himself)
    o “The Body of B. Franklin, printer
    Like the Cover of an old Book
    Its Contents torn out
    And stripped of its Lettering & guilding
    Lies here food for worms
    For, it will as he believed appear once more
    In a new and more elegant edition
    Corrected and improved by the Author.”

  • Robert Frost (himself)
    o “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world”

  • R. Buckminster Fuller (himself)
    o “Call Me Trimtab”
    + A trimtab is the smallest part of a rudder for a ship or airplane, and controls the direction of the craft. He was probably alluding how much power one individual can have in the world.

    G

  • Rene Gagnon (unknown)
    o “For God And His Country
    He Raised Our Flag In Battle
    And Showed A Measure Of His
    Pride At A Place Called “Iwo Jima”
    Where Courage Never Died”

  • John Gay (himself)
    o “Life’s a jest, and all things show it;
    I thought so once, and now I know it.”

  • Jackie Gleason (himself)
    o “And away we go!”
    + Trademark catchphrase from his television shows.

  • Mane Garrincha
    o “Here rests in peace the one who was the Joy of the People – Mané Garrincha.”

  • Mahatma Gandhi
    o “Hey Ram”
    + Translated “Oh, God”

    H

  • Henry II (by Ralph of Diceto)
    o “I was Henry the King

    To me Diverse realms were subject, I was duke and count of many provinces.
    Eight feet of ground is now enough for me, whom many kingdoms failed to satisfy.
    Who reads these lines, let him reflect, upon the narrowness of death.
    And in my case behold, the image of our mortal lot.
    This scanty tomb doth now suffice,
    For whom the Earth was not enough.”

  • Werner Heisenberg (unknown)
    o “He lies here, somewhere.”
    + This is a joke about the famous Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which implies that one may not know the position and momentum of a particle simultaneously.

  • Richard Hind
    o “Here lies the body of Richard Hind,
    Who was neither ingenious, sober, nor kind.”

  • Winifred Holtby (by herself) – 1898-1935
    o “God give me work while I may live, and life till my work is done.”

    I

    J

  • Thomas Jefferson (by himself)
    o “Author of the Declaration of American independence
    of the statute of Virginia for religious freedom
    and father of the University of Virginia”
    + Despite his being the 2nd Vice-President and 3rd President of the USA, these are not mentioned. He had said that he wanted to be remembered for what he gave to America, and not what America had given to him.

  • Jesse James (by his mother)
    o “Murdered by a traitor and a coward whose name is not worthy to appear here”

  • George Johnson (unknown)
    o “Here lies George Johnson
    Hanged by mistake, 1882
    He was right
    We was wrong
    But we strung him up
    And now he’s gone”

  • Carl Jung (unknown)
    o “Vocatus atque non vocatus
    deus aderit”
    + Translation: “Invoked or not invoked, God will be present.”

  • Jeremiah Johnson (unknown)
    o “I told you I was sick.”

  • John Jones (by Himself)
    o “Hold my drink, you’re gonna’ love this.”

    K

  • Nikos Kazantzakis (by himself)
    o “Then elpizo tipota. The fovamai tipota. Eimai eleftheros.” (“Δεν ελπιζω τιποτα. Δε φοβαμαι τιποτα. Είμαι ελευθερος”)
    + Translation: “I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.”

  • John Keats (by himself and his friends) – 1795-1821
    o “This Grave contains all that was mortal, of a Young English Poet, who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his heart, at the Malicious Power of his enemies, desired these words to be Engraven on his Tomb Stone: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water.”
    + Keats desired only the phrase “Here lies one whose name was writ in water” to be on his tombstone. However his friends, Joseph Severn and Charles Brown, added the rest.
    o “K-eats! if thy cherished name be “writ in water”
    E-ach drop has fallen from some mourner’s cheek;
    A-sacred tribute; such as heroes seek,
    T-hough oft in vain – for dazzling deeds of slaughter
    S-leep on! Not honoured less for Epitaph so meek!”
    + Written on a small plaque, on the cemetery wall nearby.

  • Kent (by himself)
    o “Grim death took me without any warning
    I was well at night and dead at nine in the morning”

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
    o “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty I’m Free At Last.”
    + Lyrics of an old Negro Spiritual he frequently quoted.

    L

  • King Leonidas of Sparta
    o “Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here, obedient to their orders, we lie.”
  • Brandon Lee
    o “Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you cannot conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless…”

  • Vivien Leigh
    o Now boast thee, death,
    in thy possesion lies
    A lass unparallel’d
    + From Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

  • Jack Lemmon (by himself)
    o “In”
    + 30’s- 60’s Hollywood Comedian

  • Primo Levi
    o 174517
    + It was his number in Auschwitz.

  • Charles Lindbergh and Anne Lindbergh
    o “If I take the wings of the morning
    and
    dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea”
    + from Psalm 139:9

  • John Locke (unknown)
    o Stop Traveller! Near this place lieth John Locke. If you ask what kind of a man he was, he answers that he lived content with his own small fortune. Bred a scholar, he made his learning subservient only to the cause of truth. This thou will learn from his writings, which will show thee everything else concerning him, with greater truth, than the suspect praises of an epitaph. His virtues, indeed, if he had any, were too little for him to propose as matter of praise to himself, or as an example to thee. Let his vices be buried together. As to an example of manners, if you seek that, you have it in the Gospels; of vices, to wish you have one nowhere; if mortality, certainly, (and may it profit thee), thou hast one here and everywhere.” (translated from the orginal Latin)

  • Jack London (unknown)
    o “The Stone the Builders Rejected”

  • Howard Phillips Lovecraft (unknown)
    o “I am Providence”
    + a reference to the deceased’s beloved hometown

  • Bela Lugosi (his children)
    o “Beloved father”

    M

  • Rob Roy MacGregor (unknown)
    o “Despite them”
    + At the time of Rob Roy’s fame, the MacGregor name became banned and was never allowed to be heard or seen by law. The epitaph phrase in full, “Rob Roy MacGregor, despite them” is a last standing testament to defy that law.

  • Roger Maris (unknown) 1935-1985
    o “61/61
    Against all Odds”

  • Dean Martin (by himself) w:1917-1995
    o “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime”
    + Title of one of his songs

  • Groucho Marx (by himself)
    o “Groucho Marx 1890-1977”
    + In an interview, he jokingly suggested his epitaph read “Excuse me, I can’t stand up.”, but his mausoleum marker bears only his stage name and years of birth and death.

  • Karl Marx (unknown)
    o “Workers of all lands unite. The philosophers have only
    interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.”

  • Leonard Matlovich (by himself) – 1943- 1988
    o “When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

  • John Laird McCaffery (“your friends”) – 1940- 1995
    o “John
    Free your body and soul
    Unfold your powerful wings
    Climb up the highest mountains
    Kick your feet up in the air
    You may now live forever
    Or return to this earth
    Unless you feel good where you are!
    —Missed by your friends”
    + Mr. McCaffery is buried in Montreal. The epitaph is an acrostic poem, in that the first letters of each line spell out, “F-U-C-K Y-O-U” The motive of his “‘friends'” is unknown. However, the Montreal Mirror quoted the gravestone’s engraver as saying that the stone was ordered by McCaffery’s “ex-wife and mistress… They said the message represented him. It was a thing between the three of them.”[1]

  • H. L. Mencken (by himself) – 1880-1956
    o “If after I depart this vale you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner, and wink your eye at some homely girl”

  • Spike Milligan (by himself) – 1918-2002
    o Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite.
    + Translation from Irish: “I told you I was ill.”

  • Lester Moore (unknown)
    o “Here lies
    Lester Moore
    four slugs
    from a 44
    no Les
    no more”

  • Jim Morrison (unknown) – 1943-1971
    o “Truth to your own spirit” (originally in Greek)
    + His body is buried in Paris’s famous Père LaChaise cemetery in the company of many other celebrities. Next to him in the “Poet’s Corner” are buried many celebrated writers, including Balzac, Molière, and Oscar Wilde.

  • Matthew Mudd (unknown) from Massachusetts:
    o “Here lies Matthew Mudd,
    Death did him no hurt;
    When alive he was only Mudd,
    But now he’s only dirt.”

  • Audie Murphy (unknown)
    o “MEDAL OF HONOR
    DSC – SS & OLC
    LM – BSM & OLC
    PH & 2 OLC”

    N

  • Isaac Newton( Alexander Pope)
    o “Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night:
    God said, ‘Let Newton be!’ and all was light.”

  • Joshua A. Norton
    o “Norton I
    Emperor of the United States
    and
    Protector of Mexico”

  • Frank Nitti(unknown)
    o “There is but no life without Death

    O

  • Osho
    o “Never born, Never died: visited the planet earth between December 11, 1931 and, January 19, 1990.”

    P

  • Bonnie Parker (Unknown) 1910-1934
    o “As the flowers are all made sweeter by
    the sunshine and the dew, so this old
    world is made brighter by the lives
    of folks like you.”
    + Outlaw, bank robber and partner of Clyde Barrow
    # Reportedly taken from one of Bonnie’s poems.

  • Dorothy Parker – 1893-1967
    o “Here lie the ashes of Dorothy Parker (1893 – 1967) Humorist, Writer, Critic, Defender of human and civil rights. For her epitaph, she suggested “Excuse My Dust”. This memorial garden is dedicated to her noble spirit which celebrated the oneness of humankind and to the bonds of everlasting friendship between Black and Jewish people. Dedicated by The National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, October 20, 1988.” (On a memorial plaque)

  • Penn and Teller (by themselves)
    o “Is this your card?” and a graphic of a card of the 3 of clubs.
    + From the Book “Penn and Teller’s How to play in traffic” ISBN 1572972939 – Penn and Teller bought a cenotaph (an epitaph without a grave beneath it) and placed it in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood. They invite people touring there to use it to surprise their friends as a punchline for a card trick.

  • Fernando Pessoa (himself)
    o “Fui o que não sou”
    + Translation: “I was that which I am not.”

  • James Louis Petigru (unknown) – 1789-1863
    o “In the admiration of his Peers;
    In the respect of his People,
    In the affection of his Family,
    His was the highest place.”

  • Allan Pinkerton (unknown)
    o “A friend to honesty and a foe to crime”

  • Edgar Allan Poe (himself)
    o “Fly
    Quoth the Raven,
    ‘Nevermore.'”
    + From his poem “The Raven”

  • Fritiof Nilsson Piraten (by himself) – 1895-1972
    o “Här under är askan av en man som hade vanan att skjuta allt till morgondagen. Dock bättrades han på sitt yttersta och dog verkligen den 31 januari 1972.”
    + Roughly translated: “Here lies the ashes of a man who had the habit of postponing everything until tomorrow. Though he bettered on his final day and really died 31st of January 1972.”

    Q

  • Quick Draw McGraw
  • He had the 2nd fastest draw. Only bettered by Slow Draw Shaw.

    R

  • Will Rogers (himself)
    o “If you live life right
    death is a joke
    as far as fear is concerned”

  • William P. Rothwell (unknown)from Rhode Island:
    o (carved into a boulder) “This is on me.”

  • Babe Ruth (Cardinal Spellman)
    o “May
    That Divine Spirit
    That Animated
    BABE RUTH
    to Win the Crucial
    Game of Life
    Inspire the Youth
    of America”

    S

  • William Shakespeare – baptized April 26, 1564- April 23, 1616
    o “Good friend, for Jesus sake forbeare
    To dig the dust enclosèd here.
    Blessed be ye man that spares these stones,
    And curst be he that moves my bones.”
    + It was not unusual, at the time of Shakespeare’s death, for corpses to be removed from graves and burnt allowing for the reuse of the grave site. Shakespeare’s grave remains undisturbed.

  • Frank Sinatra (by himself) – 1915-1998
    o “The best is yet to come.”
    + Title of one of his trademark songs

  • Harry Edsel Smith (unknown) – 1903-1942
    o “Looked up the elevator shaft
    To see
    If the car was on the way down.
    It was.”

  • The 300 Spartans (Simonides) – 480 BC
    o “Go Tell the Spartans, Stranger passing by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie.”

  • Robert Louis Stevenson (by himself) – 1850-1894
    o “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.”

  • Harold J. Story (1919 1993)
    o “Before you jump in here with me,
    make sure you bring good memories.
    For here they’re all we have to trade,
    and where you are is where they’re made.”

  • Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov – 1729-1800
    o “Here lies Suvorov”

  • Jonathan Swift (unknown)
    o “Here lies the body of Jonathan Swift,
    Professor of Holy Theology, for thirty
    years Dean of this cathedral church,
    where savage indignation can tear his
    heart no more. Go, traveller, and if you
    can imitate one who with his utmost
    strength protected liberty. He died in the year 1745, on the 19th of October,
    aged seventy-eight”

  • Lucius Cornelius Sulla (by himself) – died 78 BC
    o “No better friend – No worse enemy”

    T

  • Alfred Lord Tennyson (himself)
    o “Sunset and evening star,

    And one clear call for me!

    And may there be no moaning of the bar,

    When I put out to sea,

    But such a tide as moving seems asleep,

    Too full for sound and foam,

    When that which drew from out the boundless deep

    Turns again home.

    Twilight and evening bell,

    And after that the dark!

    And may there be no sadness of farewell,

    When I embark;

    For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place

    The flood may bear me far,

    I hope to see my Pilot face to face

    When I have crossed the bar.”

  • o
    + This poem (“Crossing the Bar”) is included at the end of every collection of his works.

  • Studs Terkel (Suggested by himself)
    o “Curiosity did not kill this cat.”

  • Thomas Thetcher

    In Memory of Thomas Thetcher

    a Grenadier in the North Reg.
    of Hants Militia, who died of a
    violent Fever contracted by drinking
    Small Beer when hot the 12th of May

    1764. Aged 26 Years.

    In grateful remembrance of whose universal
    good will towards his Comrades, this Stone
    is placed here at their expence, as a small
    testimony of their regard and concern.
    Here sleeps in peace a Hampshire Grenadier,
    Who caught his death by drinking cold small Beer,
    Soldiers be wise from his untimely fall
    And when ye’re hot drink Strong or none at all.

    This memorial being decay’d was restord
    by the Officers of the Garrison A.D. 1781.

    An Honest Soldier never is forgot
    whether he die by Musket or by Pot.

    The Stone was replaced by the North Hants
    Militia when disembodied at Winchester,
    on 26th April 1802, in consequence of
    the original Stone being destroyed.

    And again replaced by

    The Royal Hampshire Regiment 1966.

  • J. R. R. Tolkien

    “Beren”
    Beren was a famous human hero during the
    First Age of Tolkien’s fictional world
    Middle-earth. Beren’s love was the immortal
    Elven maid Lúthien who chose the fate of
    mortality to be able to follow Beren after
    he died. The name “Lúthien” is inscribed
    underneath the name Edith Tolkien on the
    pair’s headstone.

    U

  • Peter Ustinov (suggested by himself) – 1921-2004
    o “Do not walk on the grass”
    + According to an obituary in DIE ZEIT, Ustinov’s answer to the question what he would like to see written on his headstone.

    V

  • Voltaire (unknown) – 1694-1778
    o “Here lies Voltaire”

  • Kurt Vonnegut (himself)
    o “THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD WAS MUSIC”

  • Santiago Vizan Gulizia
    o “I dont regret anything, thanks”
    + In reference to his wild lifestyle.

    W

  • George Washington (unknown)
    o “Looking into the portals of eternity teached that
    The Brotherhood of Man is inspired by God’s Word;
    Then all prejudice of race vanishes away.”

  • H. G. Wells (himself) – 1866-1946
    o “I told you so, you damned fools.”

  • Oscar Wilde (himself)
    o “And alien tears will fill for him
    Pity’s long-broken urn,
    For his mourners will be outcast men,
    And outcasts always mourn.”
    + From The Ballad of Reading Gaol

  • Hank Williams (his wife)
    o “Thank you for the love you gave me
    There could be nobody stronger
    Thank you for many beautiful songs
    They will live long, and longer”

  • Christopher Wren (unknown)
    o “Lector, si monumentum requiris circumspice.”
    + Translation: “Reader, if you seek his monument, look around.”
    + Wren is buried in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, which he designed.

  • Virginia Woolf (by herself)
    o “Against you I will fling myself
    unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!”

    X

    Xylophone Bob- Choked on a drumstick. How ironic.

    Y

  • W. B. Yeats (by himself)
    o “Cast a cold eye
    On life, on death.
    Horseman, pass by!”
    + This epitaph is from Under Ben Bulben, one of Yeats’ last poems. The last section of Under Ben Bulben describes Yeats’ resting-place-to-be. See W.B. Yeats at Wikisource

    Z

    Epitaphs in fiction

  • Edmund Blackadder (by himself)
    o “Here lies Edmund Blackadder, and he’s bloody annoyed.”

  • “A Jacobite’s Epitaph” (Thomas Babington Macaulay)
    o To my true king I offer’d free from stain

    Courage and faith; vain faith, and courage vain.
    For him I threw lands, honours, wealth, away,
    And one dear hope, that was more prized than they.
    For him I languish’d in a foreign clime,
    Gray-hair’d with sorrow in my manhood’s prime;
    Heard on Lavernia Scargill’s whispering trees,
    And pined by Arno for my lovelier Tees;
    Beheld each night my home in fever’d sleep,
    Each morning started from the dream to weep;
    Till God, who saw me tried too sorely, gave
    The resting-place I ask’d, an early grave.
    O thou, whom chance leads to this nameless stone,
    From that proud country which was once mine own,
    By those white cliffs I never more must see,
    By that dear language which I spake like thee,
    Forget all feuds, and shed one English tear
    O’er English dust. A broken heart lies here.”

  • Baldur’s Gate
    o “Stranger, Tread this ground with gravity
    Dentist Mark B is filling his last cavity.”

  • Scrooge McDuck (Keno Don Rosa)
    o “Fortuna favet fortibus”
    + Translation: “Fortune favours the brave”
    + Appears on an (unpublished) drawing by author Keno Don Rosa

  • Jenny Sparks (unknown)
    o “Bugger this. I want a better world.”

  • Ron Obvious
    o “Here lies a knave,
    Where in the grave,
    His first good deed,
    Was feed the weed.”
    + from Monty Python’s Flying Circus

  • David St. Hubbins (himself)
    o “Here lies David St. Hubbins…and why not?”
    + from “This is Spinal Tap”

  • Buffy Summers (unknown) – 1981–2001
    o Beloved sister
    Devoted friend
    She saved the world
    A lot
    + Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “The Gift”

  • Senator Vrooman (Ambrose Bierce)
    o “Here lies the bones of Senator Vrooman
    Whose head was as hard as the heart of a woman
    Whose heart was as soft as the head of a hammer
    Dame Fortune inspired him to eminence, damn her!
    + Fictional future senator used as one of five examples under “Epitaph”, from The Devil’s Dictionary.

  • Van Ruijven
    o “He Painted Me.”
    + In reference to painter Jan Vermeer; from the film Girl with a Pearl Earring

  • Royal Tenenbaum (At his suggestion)
    o Royal O’Reilly Tenenbaum (1932-2001) Died Tragically Rescuing His Family From The Remains Of A Destroyed Sinking Battleship
    + From The Royal Tenenbaums

    Unknown

  • from a Canadian WWI Memorial (Rudyard Kipling)
    o “From little towns in a far land we came
    To save our honour and a world aflame.
    By little towns in a far land we sleep
    And trust the world we won for you to keep.”

  • from Ireland
    o “Tears cannot
    Restore her:
    Therefore I weep.”

  • Adult’s grave in Rome, Italy
    o “Quello che siete fummo, quello che siamo sarete”
    + Translation: “What you are we were and what we are you will become”

  • Child’s grave in Miami, FL (by Edmund Waller)
    o “What small amount of time they share
    Who are so wondrous sweet and fair”
    + From Waller’s poem “Go, Lovely Rose”

  • Infant
    o “Since I am so quickly done for
    I wonder what I was begun for?”

  • Infant in Vermont
    o “Here lies our darling baby boy
    He never cries or hollers
    He lived for one and twenty days
    And cost us forty dollars.”

  • from New Albany, OH
    o “Stop ye travellers as you pass by
    As you are now, so once was I
    As I am now, soon you shall be –
    Prepare yourself to follow me.”
    + Graffiti response:
    “To follow you
    I am not content —
    How do I know
    which way you went?”

  • from Perth, Scotland
    o “Reader one moment stop and think,
    That I am in eternity and you are on the brink.”

  • from Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia
    o “Death is a debt to Nature due
    Which we have paid and so must you.”

  • from Nanuet, New York
    o “Remember man as you walk by,
    As you are now so once was I,
    As I am now, so to you shall be,
    Bow your head and pray for me.”

  • from Fable
    o “Blimey it’s darker than I thought in here.”
    o “No man can hold his breath for ten minutes.”
    o “What you lookin’ at?”
    o “You’re standing on my head.”
    o “Rover was a true friend and pet, but ran in thunderstorms when wet.”
    o “Not dead only sleeping, buried me anyway. Unlucky.”
    o “I finished before you in the human race.”
    o “Anyone want to swap places?”
    o “Thank you for reading this grave now bugger off!”
    o “Let me out!”

  • from Évora, Portugal, in the Chapel of Bones
    o “Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos” – “We, bones that here lie, for yours we wait”

    Unknown Soldiers

  • o “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.”
    + Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia; also used in other American War cemeteries, such as the ones in Normandy.

  • o Their name liveth forevermore.
    + From Ecclesiasticus chosen by Rudyard Kipling

  • British Soldier, in Westminster Abbey
    o Beneath this stone lies the body
    of a British warrior
    Unknown by name or rank
    brought from France to lie among
    the most illustrious of the land
    and buried here on Armistice Day
    11 Nov: 1920, in the presence of
    His Majesty King George V
    His Ministers of State
    the Chiefs of his Forces
    and a vast concourse of the nation.

    Thus are commemorated the many
    multitudes who during the Great
    War of 1914-1918 gave the most that
    Man can give Life itself
    for God
    for King and country
    for loved ones, home and empire
    for the sacred cause of Justice and
    the Freedom of the world.

    They buried him among the kings because he
    had done good toward God and toward
    his house.

    British Soldier, Tobruk Commonwealth Cementary, Libya

    At the going down of the sun And in the morning We will remember them

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