C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Dark lattice! letting in eternal day!


The cradle of transformation.


The lone couch of his everlasting sleep.


The temple of silence and reconciliation.


The grave where even the great find rest.


Gilded tombs do worms infold.


Hark! from the tombs a doleful sound.


To that dark inn, the Grave!


Never the grave gives back what it has won!


Gravestones tell truth scarce forty years.

Sir Thomas Browne.

Lie lightly on my ashes, gentle earth!

Beaumont and Fletcher.

My heart is its own grave!

Miss L. E. Landon.

How populous, how vital is the grave!


The grave has a door on its inner side.

Alexander Maclaren.

Who’s a prince or beggar in the grave?


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


The reconciling grave.


Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs.


Grass grows at last above all graves.

Julia C. R. Dorr.

The graves of those we have loved and lost distress and console us.

Arsène Houssaye.

Where blended lie the oppressor and the oppressed.


  • And so sepulchred in such pomp dost lie;
  • That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.
  • Milton.

  • They bore him barefac’d on the bier;
  • *****
  • And in his grave rain’d many a tear.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Graves they say are warmed by glory;
  • Foolish words and empty story.
  • Heine.

  • Perhaps the early grave
  • Which men weep over may be meant to save.
  • Byron.

  • Our father’s dust is left alone
  • And silent under other snows.
  • Tennyson.

  • Kings have no such couch as thine,
  • As the green that folds thy grave.
  • Tennyson.

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


    A grave, wherever found, preaches a short and pithy sermon to the soul.


    That unfathomed, boundless sea, the silent grave!


    How peaceful and how powerful is the grave!


    Earth’s highest station ends in—Here he lies.


    The earth opens impartially her bosom to receive the beggar and the prince.


    The grave is a common treasury, to which we must all be taken.


    He spake well who said that graves are the footprints of angels.


    We must be patient; but I cannot choose but weep, to think they should lay him i’ the cold ground.


    Tombs are the clothes of the dead; a grave is but a plain suit, and a rich monument is one embroidered.

    Thomas Fuller.

    I would rather sleep in the southern corner of a little country churchyard than in the tomb of the Capulets.


    Lay her i’ the earth; and from her fair and unpolluted flesh may violets spring.


    Death lies on her like an untimely frost upon the sweetest flower of all the field.


    All that tread the globe are but a handful to the tribes that slumber in its bosom.


    This is the field and acre of our God; this is the place where human harvests grow.


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

  • The sepulchre,
  • Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn’d,
  • Hath op’d his ponderous and marble jaws.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Let’s choose executors and talk of wills:
  • And yet not so, for what can we bequeath
  • Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
  • Shakespeare.

    Fond fool! six feet shall serve for all thy store, and he that cares for most shall find no more.

    Bishop Hall.

    Oh, how a small portion of earth will hold us when we are dead, who ambitiously seek after the whole world while we are living!

    Philip, King of Macedon.

    If thou hast no inferiors, have patience awhile, and thou shalt have no superiors. The grave requires no marshal.


  • O heart, and mind, and thoughts! what thing do you
  • Hope to inherit in the grave below?
  • Shelley.

    From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections.

    Washington Irving.

    The reconciling grave swallows distinction first, that made us foes; there all lie down in peace together.


    We go to the grave of a friend saying, “A man is dead;” but angels throng about him, saying, “A man is born.”


    An angel’s arm can’t snatch me from the grave—legions of angels can’t confine me there!


    The grave—dread thing!—men shiver when thou art named; Nature, appalled, shakes off her wonted firmness.


    However bright the comedy before, the last act is always stained with blood. The earth is laid upon our head, and there it lies forever.


    The earth doth not cover our beloved, but heaven hath received him; let us tarry for awhile, and we shall be in his company.

    St. Basil.

  • One destin’d period men in common have,
  • The great, the base, the coward, and the brave,
  • All food alike for worms, companions in the grave.
  • Lansdowne.

    Who can look down upon the grave of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb that he should have warred with the poor handful of dust that lies mouldering before him?

    Washington Irving.

    That gloomy outside, like a rusty chest, contains the shining treasures of a soul resolved and brave.


    The grave is a very small hillock, but we can see farther from it, when standing on it, than from the highest mountain in all the world.

    A. Tholuck.

    Without settled principle and practical virtue, life is a desert; without Christian piety, the contemplation of the grave is terrible.

    Sir William Knighton.

    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.


  • Under ground
  • Precedency’s a jest; vassal and lord,
  • Grossly familiar, side by side consume.
  • Blair.

    Sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave like one that wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.


  • There is a calm for those who weep,
  • A rest for weary pilgrims found,
  • They softly lie and sweetly sleep
  • Low in the ground.
  • Montgomery.

  • Then to the grave I turned me to see what therein lay;
  • ’Twas the garment of the Christian, worn out and thrown away.
  • Krummacher.

  • The grave is heaven’s golden gate,
  • And rich and poor around it wait;
  • O Shepherdess of England’s fold,
  • Behold this gate of pearl and gold!
  • William Blake.

  • But the grandsire’s chair is empty,
  • The cottage is dark and still;
  • There’s a nameless grave on the battlefield,
  • And a new one under the hill.
  • Wm. Winter.

  • Oh! let not tears embalm my tomb,
  • None but the dews by twilight given!
  • Oh! let not sighs disturb the gloom
  • None but the whispering winds of heaven.
  • Moore.

    The grave is a crucible where memory is purified; we only remember a dead friend by those qualities which make him regretted.

    J. Petit-Senn.

    The grave is, I suspect, the sole commonwealth which attains that dead flat of social equality that life in its every principle so heartily abhors.


    As a tract of country narrowed in the distance expands itself when we approach, thus the way to our near grave appears to us as long as it did formerly when we were far off.


    The disciples found angels at the grave of Him they loved; and we should always find them too, but that our eyes are too full of tears for seeing.


  • Here may thy storme-bett vessell safely ryde;
  • This is the port of rest from troublous toyle,
  • The worlde’s sweet inn from paine and wearisome turmoyle.
  • Spenser.

    Men cannot benefit those that are with them as they can benefit those that come after them; and of all the pulpits from which human voice is ever sent forth, there is none from which it reaches so far as from the grave.


    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.


  • The most magnificent and costly dome,
  • Is but an upper chamber to a tomb;
  • No spot on earth but has supplied a grave,
  • And human skulls the spacious ocean pave.
  • Young.

  • Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
  • And our hearts, though stout and brave,
  • Still, like muffled drums, are beating
  • Funeral marches to the grave.
  • Longfellow.

    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.


    There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.


  • Yet shall thy grave with rising flow’rs be dressed,
  • And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast;
  • There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
  • There the first roses of the year shall blow.
  • Pope.

    The grave is a sacred workshop of nature! a chamber for the figure of the body; death and life dwell here together as man and wife. They are one body, they are in union; God has joined them together, and what God hath joined together let no man put asunder.


    There is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song. There is a remembrance of the dead to which we turn even from the charms of the living. Oh, the grave! the grave! It buries every error, covers every defect, extinguishes every resentment. From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections.

    Washington Irving.

  • Our lives are rivers gliding free
  • To that unfathom’d, boundless sea,
  • The silent grave!
  • Thither all earthly pomp and boast
  • Roll, to be swallow’d up and lost
  • In one dark wave.
  • Longfellow.

  • Here the o’erloaded slave flings down his burden
  • From his gall’d shoulders; and, when the cruel tyrant,
  • With all his guards and tools of power about him,
  • Is meditating new, unheard-of hardships,
  • Mocks his short arm, and, quick as thought, escapes
  • Where tyrants vex not, and the weary rest.
  • Blair.

    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.

    Bishop R. S. Foster.

  • What is the grave?
  • ’Tis a cool, shady harbor, where the Christian
  • Wayworn and weary with life’s rugged road,
  • Forgetting all life’s sorrows, joys, and pains,
  • Lays his poor body down to rest—
  • Sleeps on—and wakes in heaven.
  • Unknown Author.

  • Mine be the breezy hill that skirts the down;
  • Where a green grassy turf is all I crave,
  • With here and there a violet bestrown,
  • Fast by a brook or fountain’s murmuring wave;
  • And many an evening sun shine sweetly on my grave!
  • Beattie.

  • Here all the mighty troublers of the earth,
  • Who swam to sov’reign rule through seas of blood;
  • Th’ oppressive, sturdy, man-destroying villains,
  • Who ravag’d kingdoms, and laid empires waste,
  • And in a cruel wantonness of power
  • Thinn’d states of half their people, and gave up
  • To want the rest; now, like a storm that’s spent,
  • Lie hush’d.
  • Blair.

  • I see their scattered gravestones gleaming white
  • Through the pale dusk of the impending night.
  • O’er all alike the imperial sunset throws
  • Its golden lilies mingled with the rose;
  • We give to each a tender thought and pass
  • Out of the graveyards with their tangled grass.
  • Longfellow.

  • Where is the house for all the living found?
  • Go ask the deaf, the dumb, the dead;
  • All answer, without voice or sound,
  • Each resting in his bed;
  • Look down and see,
  • Beneath thy feet,
  • A place for thee;
  • —There all the living meet.
  • James Montgomery.

    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.


  • I like that ancient Saxon phrase which calls
  • The burial ground, God’s Acre! It is just;
  • It consecrates each grave within its walls,
  • And breathes a benison o’er the sleeping dust.
  • *****
  • Into its furrows shall we all be cast,
  • In the sure faith, that we shall rise again
  • At the great harvest, when the archangel’s blast
  • Shall winnow, like a fan, the chaff and grain.
  • Longfellow.

  • Build me a shrine, and I could kneel
  • To rural Gods, or prostrate fall;
  • Did I not see, did I not feel,
  • That one Great Spirit governs all.
  • O heaven, permit that I may lie
  • Where o’er my corse green branches wave;
  • And those who from life’s tumults fly
  • With kindred feelings press my grave.
  • Bloomfield.

  • There are slave-drivers quietly whipped underground,
  • There bookbinders, done up in boards, are fast bound,
  • There card-players wait till the last trump be played,
  • There all the choice spirits get finally laid,
  • There the babe’s that unborn is supplied with a berth,
  • There men without legs get their six feet of earth,
  • There lawyers repose, each wrapped up in his case,
  • There seekers of office are sure of a place,
  • There defendant and plaintiff get equally cast,
  • There shoemakers quietly stick to the last.
  • Lowell.

    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 things 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.


  • Even such is time, that takes on trust
  • Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
  • And pays us but with age and dust,
  • Who in the dark and silent grave,
  • When we have wandered all our ways,
  • Shuts up the story of our days!
  • But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
  • My God shall raise me up, I trust!
  • Sir Walter Raleigh.

  • The solitary, silent, solemn scene,
  • Where Cæsars, 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.
  • Dyer.

  • 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.
  • Gray.