They have chiseled on my stone the words:
‘His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him
That nature might stand up and say to all the world,
This was a man.’
Those who knew me smile
As they read this empty rhetoric.
My epitaph should have been:
‘Life was not gentle to him,
And the elements so mixed in him
That he made warfare on life,
In the which he was slain.’
While I lived I could not cope with slanderous tongues,
Now that I am dead I must submit to an epitaph
Graven by a fool!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edgar Lee Masters's poem Cassius Hueffer


  1. Courtney W1 says:

    Interesting poem. This is a practice comment.

  2. Jase Nosal says:

    This epitaph has a very ironic tone in that it uses epitaphs inside the epitaph to describe the writter. This creates a sense that the person who the epitaph was written for was to richious to be described in one sentence. Also it alludes to the actual grave stone twice and creates a false reality in its own security of the tomb.

  3. Rahmeen says:

    Thought it was a good poem. Made me think a little!

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