Grave (burial)

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A grave is a location where a dead body (typically that of a human, although sometimes that of an animal) is buried. Graves are usually located in special areas set aside for the purpose of burial, such as graveyards or cemeteries.


  • Mine be the breezy hill that skirts the down;
    Where a green grassy turf is all I crave,
    With here and there a violet bestrewn,
    Fast by a brook or fountain's murmuring wave;
    And many an evening sun shine sweetly on my grave!
  • GRAVE, n. A place in which the dead are laid to await the coming of the medical student.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • They say in the grave there is peace, and peace and the grave are one and the same.
  • Perhaps the early grave
    Which men weep over may be meant to save.
  • Take your delight in momentariness,
    Walk between dark and dark — a shining space
    With the grave's narrowness, though not its peace.
  • A piece of a Churchyard fits everybody.
  • Sympathy is the softener of death, and memory of the loved and the lost is the earthly shadow of their immortality. But who turns aside amid those crowds that hurry through the thronged and noisy streets?—No one can love London better than I do; but never do I wish to be buried there. It is the best place in the world for a house, and the worst for a grave.
  • Lay her in the gentle earth,
    Where the summer maketh mirth ;
    Where young violets have birth ;
    Where the lily bendeth.
    Lay her there, the lovely one !
    With the rose, her funeral stone ;
    And for tears, such showers alone
    As the rain of April lendeth.
  • The grave's a fine and private place,
    But none, I think, do there embrace.
  • The grave unites; where e'en the great find rest,
    And blended lie th' oppressor and th' oppressed!
  • Bear from hence his body:
    And mourn you for him: let him be regarded
    As the most noble corse that ever herald
    Did follow to his urn.
  • The sepulchre,
    Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,
    Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws.
  • They bore him barefac'd on the bier;
    * * * * *
    And in his grave rain'd many a tear.
  • Lay her i' the earth;
    And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
    May violets spring!
  • Has this fellow no feeling of his business that he sings at grave-making?
    Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.
  • Let's choose executors and talk of wills:
    And yet not so, for what can we bequeath
    Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
  • The body is placed under the earth, and after a certain period there remains no vestige even of its form. This is that contemplation of inexhaustible melancholy, whose shadow eclipses the brightness of the world. The common observer is struck with dejection of the spectacle. He contends in vain against the persuasion of the grave, that the dead indeed cease to be. The corpse at his feet is prophetic of his own destiny. Those who have preceded him, and whose voice was delightful to his ear; whose touch met his like sweet and subtle fire: whose aspect spread a visionary light upon his path — these he cannot meet again.
  • Peace is in the grave.
    The grave hides all things beautiful and good.
    I am a God and cannot find it there,
    Nor would I seek it; for, though dread revenge,
    This is defeat, fierce king, not victory.
  • I am gone into the fields
    To take what this sweet hour yields; —
    Reflection, you may come to-morrow,
    Sit by the fireside with Sorrow. —
    You with the unpaid bill, Despair, —
    You, tiresome verse-reciter, Care, —
    I will pay you in the grave, —
    Death will listen to your stave.
  • The Mohammedans use the graves of their saints and martyrs almost in the place of images.
    • Swami Vivekananda, Complete works (3.61)

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 337-40.
  • And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor; but no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto this day.
    • Deuteronomy, XXXIV. 6.
  • By Nebo's lonely mountain,
    On this side Jordan's wave,
    In a vale in the land of Moab,
    There lies a lonely grave;
    But no man built that sepulcher,
    And no man saw it e'er,
    For the angels of God upturned the sod
    And laid the dead man there.
  • Inn of a traveller on his way to Jerusalem.
    • Translation of the Latin on the monument of Dean Alford, Stanza Martin's Churchyard, Canterbury.
  • Here's an acre sown indeed,
    With the richest royalest seed.
  • Nigh to a grave that was newly made,
    Leaned a sexton old on his earth-worn spade.
  • 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.
  • The grave, dread thing!
    Men shiver when thou'rt named: Nature appalled,
    Shakes off her wonted firmness.
  • The grave is Heaven's golden gate,
    And rich and poor around it wait;
    O Shepherdess of England's fold,
    Behold this gate of pearl and gold!
    • William Blake, dedication of the designs to Blair's "Grave", to Queen Charlotte.
  • Build me a shrine, and I could kneel
    To rural Gods, or prostrate fall;
    Did I not see, did I not feel.
    That one GREAT SPIRIT governs all.
    O Heaven, permit that I may lie
    Where o'er my corse green branches wave;
    And those who from life's tumults fly
    With kindred feelings press my grave.
  • Gravestones tell truth scarce forty years.
  • I gazed upon the glorious sky
    And the green mountains round,
    And thought that when I came to lie
    At rest within the ground,
    'Twere pleasant that in flowery June
    When brooks send up a cheerful tune,
    And groves a joyous sound,
    The sexton's hand, my grave to make,
    The rich, green mountain turf should break.
  • Of all
    The fools who flock'd to swell or see the show
    Who car'd about the corpse? The funeral
    Made the attraction, and the black the woe;
    There throbb'd not there a thought which pierc'd the pall.
  • What's hallow'd ground? Has earth a clod
    Its Maker mean'd not should be trod
    By man, the image of his God,
    Erect and free,
    Unscourged by Superstition's rod
    To bow the knee.
  • But an untimely grave.
  • The grave's the market place.
    • Death and the Lady, ballad in Dixon's Ballads; The Percy Society.
  • The solitary, silent, solemn scene,
    Where Cæsars, heroes, peasants, hermits lie,
    Blended in dust together; where the slave
    Rests from his labors; where th' insulting proud
    Resigns his powers; the miser drops his hoard:
    Where human folly sleeps.
  • Etsi alterum pedem in sepulchro haberem.
    • (Julian would learn something) even if he had one foot in the grave.
    • Erasmus, quoting Pomponius, of Julian. Original phrase one foot in the ferry boat, meaning Charon's boat.
  • 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.
  • Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
    The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
    Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
    Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
  • The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
    And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
    Await alike th' inevitable hour,
    The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
  • Fond fool! six feet shall serve for all thy store,
    And he that cares for most shall find no more.
  • Such graves as his are pilgrim shrines,
    Shrines to no code or creed confined,—
    The Delphian vales, the Palestines,
    The Meccas of the mind.
  • Green be the turf above thee,
    Friend of my better days;
    None knew thee but to love thee
    Nor named thee but to praise.
  • Graves they say are warm'd by glory;
    Foolish words and empty story.
  • Where shall we make her grave?
    Oh! where the wild flowers wave
    In the free air!
    When shower and singing-bird
    'Midst the young leaves are heard,
    There—lay her there!
  • The house appointed for all living.
    • Job, XXX. 23.
  • Teach me to live that I may dread
    The grave as little as my bed.
    • Bishop Ken, Evening Hymn; the same is found in Thomas Browne, Religio Medici. Both are taken from the old Hymni Ecclesesiæ.
  • Then to the grave I turned me to see what therein lay;
    'Twas the garment of the Christian, worn out and thrown away.
  • I see their scattered gravestones gleaming white
    Through the pale dusk of the impending night.
    O'er all alike the imperial sunset throws
    Its golden hues mingled with the rose;
    We give to each a tender thought and pass
    Out of the graveyards with their tangled grass.
  • Take them, O Grave! and let them lie
    Folded upon thy narrow shelves,
    As garments by the soul laid by,
    And precious only to ourselves!
  • There are slave-drivers quietly whipped underground,
    There bookbinders, done up in boards, are fast bound,
    There card-players wait till the last trump be played,
    There all the choice spirits get finally laid,
    There the babe that's unborn is supplied with a berth,
    There men without legs get their six feet of earth,
    There lawyers repose, each wrapped up in his case,
    There seekers of office are sure of a place,
    There defendant and plaintiff get equally cast,
    There shoemakers quietly stick to the last.
  • As life runs on, the road grows strange
    With faces new,—and near the end
    The milestones into headstones change:—
    'Neath every one a friend.
  • We should teach our children to think no more of their bodies when dead than they do of their hair when cut off, or of their old clothes when they have done with them.
  • Your seventh wife, Phileros, is now being buried in your field. No man's field brings him greater profit than yours, Phileros.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book X, Epigram 43.
  • There is a calm for those who weep,
    A rest for weary pilgrims found,
    They softly lie and sweetly sleep
    Low in the ground.
  • (Bodies) carefully to be laid up in the wardrobe of the grave.
  • Pabulum Acheruntis.
    • Food of Acheron. (Grave).
    • Plautus, Casina, Act II, scene 1, line 11.
  • Yet shall thy grave with rising flow'rs be dressed,
    And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast;
    There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
    There the first roses of the year shall blow.
  • Ruhe eines Kirchhofs!
  • Never the grave gives back what it has won!
  • To that dark inn, the Grave!
  • O heart, and mind, and thoughts! what thing do you
    Hope to inherit in the grave below?
  • The grave
    Is but the threshold of eternity.
    • Robert Southey, Vision of the Maid of Orleans, Book II (originally the 9th book of Joan of Arc; later published as separate poem).
  • There is an acre sown with royal seed.
  • Kings have no such couch as thine,
    As the green that folds thy grave.
  • But the grandsire's chair is empty,
    The cottage is dark and still;
    There's a nameless grave on the battle-field,
    And a new one under the hill.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)[edit]

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • The earth doth not cover our beloved, but heaven hath received him; let us tarry for a while, and we shall be in his company.
  • For ages the world has been waiting and watching; millions, with broken hearts, have hovered around the yawning abyss; but no echo has come back from the engulfing gloom —silence, oblivion, covers all. If indeed they survive; if they went away whole and victorious, they give us no signals. We wait for years, but no messages come from the far-away shore to which they have gone.
  • There is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song. There is a remembrance of the dead to which we turn even from the charms of the living. O, the grave! the grave! It buries every error, covers every defect, extinguishes every resentment. From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections.
  • It is sweet to hold converse with the pious dead. A holy influence emanates from their blissful home, and fills the soul with a feeling of sacred and solemn awe. The spirit whispers peace, and fills the waiting caverns of the soul with the bright hope of again meeting those whom we believe to be in the abode of redeemed and happy spirits.
  • The grave is a very small hillock, but we can see farther from it, when standing on it, than from the highest mountain in all the world.

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