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


The houses that he makes last till doomsday.


  • Nigh to a grave that was newly made,
  • Leaned a sexton old on his earth-worn spade.
  • Park Benjamin.

  • Ye undertakers, tell us,
  • ’Midst all the gorgeous figures you exhibit,
  • Why is the principal conceal’d, for which
  • You make this mighty stir?
  • Blair.

  • Alas, poor Tom! how oft, with merry heart
  • Have we beheld thee play the Sexton’s part;
  • Each comic heart must now be grieved to see
  • The Sexton’s dreary part performed on thee.
  • Robert Fergusson.

    Has this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings at grave-making? Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.


  • See yonder maker of the dead man’s bed,
  • The sexton, hoary-headed chronicle,
  • Of hard, unmeaning face, down which ne’er stole
  • A gentle tear.
  • Blair.

  • Why is the hearse with scutcheons blazon’d round,
  • And with the nodding plume of ostrich crown’d?
  • No; the dead know it not, nor profit gain;
  • It only serves to prove the living vain.
  • Gay.

  • There was a man bespake a thing,
  • Which when the owner home did bring,
  • He that made it did refuse it;
  • And he that brought it would not use it,
  • And he that hath it doth not know
  • Whether he hath it yea or no.
  • Sir John Davies.