Ah, make we the most of what we may yet spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie,
Sans wine, sans song, sans singer, and sans end.
All care to the wind we merrily fling,
For the damp, cold grave is a dead sure thing!
It's a dead sure thing we're alive tonight
And the damp, cold grave is out of sight.
(Toast of the Vampire Club)
Cause of Death: Life.
-Tom Boswell's epitaph for Bill Veeck,
The Washington Post, May 31,1981
Here's to death, because death will give me one last bier.
Life is a jest
And all things show it;
I thought so once-
But now I know it.
-John Gay's epitaph,
appearing on his grave in Westminster Abbey
May every hair on your head turn into a candle to light your way to heaven, and may God and His Holy Mother take the harm of the years away from you.
May we all come to peaceful ends,
And leave our debts unto our friends.
Oh, here's to other meetings,
And merry greetings then;
And here's to those we've drunk with,
But never can again.
Over their hallowed graves may the winds of heaven whisper hourly benedictions.
She drank good ale, good punch and wine
And lived to the age of 99.
-Epitaph for Rebecca Freeland at Edwalton, Notts, 1741
Take lightly that which heavy lies;
what all respect, do you despair;
some flippancy your soul may save.
-A goose is walking on your grave.
-"Motto," by artist Peggy Bacon,
quoted in "Peggy Bacon's World," the Boston Globe, July 8, 1979
Though life is now pleasant and sweet to the sense
We'll be damnably mouldy a hundred years hence.
-Old Pirate Toast
Time cuts down all,
Both great and small.
'Tis my will when I die, not a tear shall be shed,
No Hie Jacet be graved on my stone,
But pour o'er my coffin a bottle of red,
And write that His Drinking is Done.
To Death, the jolly old bouncer, now
Our glasses let's be clinking;
If he hadn't put other out, I trow,
To-night we'd not be drinking.
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Wash me when dead in the juice of the vine, dear friends!
Let your funeral service be drinking and wine, dear friends!
And if you would meet again when the Doomsday comes,
Search the dust of the tavern, and sift from it mine, dear friends!
We toast his roguish and venerable shade.
-James J. Kilpatrick's toast to H. L. Mencken on the 101st anniversary of Mencken's birth,
Quoted in the Baltimore Sun, September 13, 1981.