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zh-cn:墓志铭zh-tw:墓誌銘 An epitaph is text honoring the dead, most commonly inscribed on a tombstone or plaque. Traditionally an epitaph is in verse, but there are exceptions.

Some poets have been known to compose their own epitaphs prior to their death.

Famous Epitaphs

"Here lies one of the most intelligent animals who ever appeared on the face of the earth." (Benito Mussolini)

J. R. R. Tolkien is buried next to his wife, and on their tombstone the names "Beren" and "Luthien" are engraved, a fact that sheds light on the love story of Beren and Luthien which is recorded in several versions in his works.

"Kind friend, for Ieusus sake forbear, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blest be he that keeps these stones, But cursed be he that moves my bones." (From the grave of William Shakespeare).

"Stranger by the roadside, do not smile
When you see this grave, though it is only a dog's,
My master wept when I died, and his own hand
Laid me in earth and wrote these lines on my tomb." (unknown origin)

On Newton's grave, a poem from Alexander Pope is written:
"Nature, and nature's laws,
Lay hid in night,
God said, let Newton be!
And all was light.