The wording on a gravestone will read something like:
“Lesley Smith, much loved partner of Andrea Sorani
4 Mar 1960-20 Jul 2012
A life well lived. A love lost.”
If you’re looking for inspiration for a memorial or headstone, have a look at what’s been written on the tombstone of some of life’s great legends below.
We asked folks in the street what words they might like:
PS We’ve organised these alphabetically by first name, because legends, we find, cock a snoot at our very dull convention of arranging by surname then first name. How would that work for Gustavo III, King Arthur, Alexander the Great, Billy the Kid?
Alexander the Great
A tomb now suffices for him
whom the world was not enough
My Jesus Mercy
Arthur Conan Doyle
Steel True, Blade Straight
The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer (like the cover of an old book, its contents worn out, and stript of its lettering and gilding) lies here, food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be lost, for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by its Author
She did it the hard way
Billy the Kid
Truth and History.
The Boy Bandit King
He Died As He Lived
William H. Bonney “Billy the Kid”
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
(Invoked or not invoked, the god is present.)
So much to do, so little done
Reader, if you seek his monument look around.
Interred in St. Paul’s Cathedral of which he was the architect
Everybody loves somebody sometime.
Edgar Allan Poe
Quoth the Raven,
The best is yet to come.
Gustavus III, (King of Sweden)
(Happy at last)
Henry Ward Beecher
He thinketh no evil.
A Gentle Man and a Gentleman
The Stone the Builders Rejected
We live to love you more each day.
Murdered by a traitor and a coward whose name is no worthy to appear here.
contains all that was Mortal
Young English Poet
on his Death Bed
in the Bitterness of his Heart
at the Malicious Power of his Enemies
these words to be engraven on his Tomb Stone
“Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water.”
Workers of all lands unite. The philosophers have only
interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.
Hic jacet Arthurus, rex quondam rexque futurus
(Here lies Arthur, the once and future king.)
“That’s All Folks”
STA SOL NE MOEARE
(Stand, Sun, move not)
Alien tears will fill for him pity’s long-broken ern,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn.
Here underneath dis laitl stean
Laiz Robert Earl of Huntingdon.
Near arcir ver az hie sae geud,
An pipl kauld im Robin Heud:
Sic an utlawz as hi an is men
Vil England niver si agen.
Obiit 24 Kal, dekembris, 1247
(Here underneath this little stone
Lies Robert, Earl of Huntingdon.
No archer was as he so good,
And people called him Robin Hood.
Such an outlaw as he, and his men,
Will England never see again.)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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.
I told you I was ill.
A master of comedy his genius in the art of humour brought gladness to the world he loved.
Liberty, Humanity, Justice, Equality
Against you I will fling myself.
Unvanquished and unyielding, O death!
Here lies W.C. Fields. I would rather be living in Philadelphia.
Wild Bill Hickok
J. B. Hickok
Killed by the assassin
In Deadwood, Black Hills
Aug. 2d 1876
Pard, we will meet
again in the Happy
To part no more,
Good frend for Jesus sake forbeare,
To digg the dust encloased heare!
Blest be the man that spares thes stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.
Wyatt and Josephene Earp
That nothing’s so sacred as honor and nothing’s so loyal as love.