And Now For Something Completely Irrelevant

From the Gentleman’s Magazine, September 1744.

Here lies then old Nick, as dead as a herring,
Full famous he was his flock of teeth for transferring
From his jaws to his shoes; that went things e’er so bad
He was sure, at each turn, to hit the nail o’ the head.
If a grave call’d to dig, he no plea cou’d alledge,
For as well as his spade, he his teeth set on edge.
If the hounds to maintain he the parish must lead,
Such a spur in the heel was worth two in the head.
No doubt but this scheme his brains had a hand in;
How else shou’d his teeth become understanding?
As the heroes of old fell in battle renown’d,
He cou’d stand on his feet, yet, like them, bite the ground.
But the biter is bitten; that wrestler, old death,
Tooth and nail fell aboard him, and beat out his breath,
Then tript up his heels — in the spite of his teeth.

One of my favorite epitaphs. Not that I have a huge stock of them, of course.

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