In 1728, at age 23, Ben Franklin composed his own epitaph:
The Body of
B. Franklin, Printer
(Like the Cover of an old Book
Its Contents torn out
And shrift of its Lettering and Gilding)
Lies here, Food for Worms.
But the Work shall not be lost;
For it will, (as he believ’d) appear once more,
In a new and more elegant Edition
Revised and corrected,
By the Author.
Fifty-six years later, six years before his death in 1790, he wrote these lines:
If Life’s compared to a Feast,
Near Fourscore Years I’ve been a Guest;
I’ve been regaled with the best,
And feel quite satisfyd.
‘Tis time that I retire to Rest;
Landlord, I thank you! — Friends, Good Night.