Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dark Ditties: Miscellaneous Epitaphs

In 1895, Susan Darling Safford published a book entitled Quaint Epitahs, in which she collected hundreds of headstone inscribings that she found while visiting cemeteries across the globe.  The tone of the epitaphs ranges from humorous to heartbreaking, and below are a small handful of my favorites that I thought I would pass onto you.  (To grab the full text for free, click here)

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

On a babe four days old.
Since I so very soon was done for
I wonder what I was begun for.

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.

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

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


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