When Benjamin Franklin was 22 years old, he wrote the epitaph that he imagined might be carved on his tombstone. By the time he actually died at age 84, he had changed his mind.
The Epitaph of Young Benjamin Franklin
The body of
B. 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 Believ'd) Appear once More
In a New and More Elegant Edition
Revised and Corrected
By the Author.
Benjamin Franklin's Final Epitaph
Benjamin and Deborah Franklin: 1790
John Donne (1572-1631)
Reader, I am to let thee know,
Donne's body only lies below;
For could the grave his soul comprise,
Earth would be richer than the skies.
Mrs. Aphra Behn (1640-89)
Here lies a Proof that Wit can never be
Defence enough against Mortality.
Within this circular idea
Called vulgarly a tomb,
The ideas and impressions lie
That constituted Hume
Peter Robinson (19th century)
Here lies the preacher, judge, and poet, Peter
Who broke the laws of God, and man, and metre.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn.
Olivia Susan Clemens (1866-1890)
[Daughter of Mark Twain]
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.
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
Cast a cold eye
On life, on death
Horseman, pass by.
Amy LV at The Poem Farm is our Poetry Friday host today.