Epitaphs of Scotland
Beneath this silent tomb is laid
A noisy antiquated maid,
Who from her cradle talked till death
And ne'er before was out of breath.
Here lyeth wrapped in clay
The body of Ester Wray:
I have no more to say
Except bless the day
She went away
A Bard's Epitaph
Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,
Let him draw near;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
And drap a tear.
Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng,
O, pass not by!
But, with a frater-feeling strong,
Here, heave a sigh.
Is there a man, whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career,
Wild as the wave,
Here pause-and, thro' the starting tear,
Survey this grave.
The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn the wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow,
And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
And stain'd his name!
Reader, attend! whether thy soul
Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,
In low pursuit:
Know, prudent, cautious, self-control
Is wisdom's root.
Epitaph by Robert Burns
Wha lies here?
John Sim, ye needna' speir.
Hullo, John, is that you?
Ay, ay, but I'm deid noo.
'Tis here that Tibby Allan lies,
Tis here, or here about,
But no one till the Resurrection day,
Shall the very spot dispute.
Here lies an honest lawyer,
That is Strange!
Here lies interred a man o'micht,
His name was Malcolm Downie:
He lost his life ae market nicht
By fa'in aff his pownie.
Here lies Andrew MacPherson,
Who was a peculiar person;
He stood six foot two
Without his shoe,
And he was slew,
Epitaph For Gavin Hamilton, Esq.
The poor man weeps, here Gavin sleeps,
Whom canting wretches blamed;
But with such as he, wherever he be,
May I be saved or damned!
Epitaph by Robert Burns
Here lies the body of Robert Small,
Who, when in life, was thick not tall:
But what's of greater consequence
He was endowed with good sense.
Here lies my good and gracious Auntie,
Wham Death has packed in his portmanty,
Threescore and ten years did God gift her,
And here she lies. wha de'il daurs lift-her?
Here lies, alas! poor Roger Norton,
Whose sudden death was oddly brought on!
Trying one day his corns to mow off,
The razor slipped and cut his toe off!
The toe, or rather what it grew to;
The part then took to mortifying.
Which was the cause of Roger's dying.
Epitaph For James Smith
Lament him, Mauchline husbands a',
He aften did assist ye;
For had ye staid hale weeks awa,
Your wives they ne'er had miss'd ye.
Ye Mauchline bairns, as on ye press
To school in bands thegither,
O tread ye lightly on his grass, -
Perhaps he was your father!
Epitaph by Robert Burns
Here lies Tam Reid
Who was chokit to deid
Wi' takin a feed
O'butter and breed
Wi' owre muckle speed,
When he hadnae need,
But just for greed.
Here lies a man who was Knott born;
His father was Knott before him.
He lived Knott, and he did Knott die,
Yet underneath this stone doth lie.
And here lies,
And yet was Knott.
Epitaph For Robert Aiken, Esq.
Know thou, O stranger to the fame
Of this much lov'd, much honoured name!
(For none that knew him need be told)
A warmer heart death ne'er made cold.
Epitaphs by Robert Burns
I, Jocky Bell o'Brakenbrow, lyes under this stane,
Five of my awn sons laid it on my wame;
I liv'd aw my days, but sturt or strife
Was man o'my meat, and maister o'my wife;
If you've done better in your time than I did in mine,
Take the stane aff my wame, and lay it on thine.
Here lies an old woman wrapt in her linen,
Mother to James and Thomas Binnen;
Who for want of a coffin was buried in a girnal,
The earth got the shell, and the De'il got the kernel.
Here lies the body of William Beck
He was thrown at a hunt and broke his neck.
Here lies the banes of Tammas Messer
Of tarry woo he was a dresser:
He had some faults and mony merits,
And died o'drinkin' ardent spirits.
Here we lie in a horizontal position like a
Ship laid up, stripped of her sails and rigging.
On a cold pillow lies her head
Yet it will rise again 'tis said;
So prudently reader how thy walk
For is she rise again she'll talk!
As I was riding alang the road,
Not kennin' whit was comin'
An auld grey bull a 'hornie cam'
After me a runnin';
He wi' his horny heid struck me
He being sore offended
I from ma horse, was forced to fa'
And so, my days were ended.
Here lies removed from mundane scenes,
A major of the King's Marines,
Under arrest in narrow borders
He rises not till further orders.
Tho' hot my name, yet mild my nature,
I bore goodwill to every creature,
I brewed good ale, and sold it too,
And unto each I gave his due.
A zealous locksmith dy'd of late
And did arrive at heaven's gate,
He stood without and would not knock,
Because he meant to pick the lock.
Here lies in peace secure
A lass incline to mirth
Who by way of making sure
Took her paradise on earth.
The Lord saw good, I was lopping off wood
And down fell from the tree.
I met with a check and broke my neck,
And so death lopped off me.
Here lies John Sullen, and it is God's will
He that was sullen should be sullen still;
He still is sullen, if the truth ye seek;
Knock until Doomesday, Sullen will not speak.
When Orpheus played he moved Old Nick.
But when you played you made us sick.
Burton was a dandy whom Burns once met in Dumfries. It was Button's habit to introduce the word 'Damn' in every sentence.
Here cursing, swearing Burton lies,
A buck, a beau, or 'Dem my eyes!'
Who in his life did little good,
And his last words were 'Dem my blood'.
Here lies the body of Geordie Denham
If ye saw him now we wadna ken him.
In this churchyard lies Eppie Coutts,
Either here, or hereabouts:
But where it is, none can tell
Till Eppie rise and tell hersel'.
This martyr was by Peter Ingles shot,
By birth a Tiger rather than a Scot,
Who that his monstrous extract might be seen,
Cut off my head and kicked it o'er the Green.
Thus was the head which was to wear a crown
A football made by a profane dragoon.
He had a strong judgment, quick imagination and
He possessed the love and respect of all who knew
Then he sullied it all.
Grim death, to please his liquorish palate
Has taken my Lettice to put in his sallat.
Here lie the bones of Elizabeth Charlotte,
Born a virgin, died a narlot.
She was aye a virgin at seventeen,
A remarkable thing in Aberdeen.
Epitaph for a Scottish Suicide.
Here lies in earth a root of Hell,
Set by the Diel's ain dibble;
This worthless body damned himself,
To save the Lord the trouble..