Epitaph on Sir Edward Standly


According to William Dugdale from his Visitation of Shropshire (1664), as quoted in E. K. Chambers' William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems (Oxford, 1930), 1.552, the following lines appear on the west end of the Stanley tomb in the church at Tong:

An Epitaph on Sr Edward Standly.
Ingraven on his Toombe in Tong Church.

Not monumentall stones preserves our Fame;
Nor sky-aspiring Piramides our name;
The memory of him for whom this standes
Shall out live marble and defacers hands
When all to times consumption shall bee given,
Standly for whom this stands shall stand in heaven.

The following lines appear on the east end of the tomb:

On Sr Thomas Standly

Idem, ibidem
Ask who lies heere but doe not wheepe;
Hee is not deade; Hee doth but sleepe;
This stony Register is for his bones,
His fame is more perpetuall, then these stones,
And his owne goodnesse wth him selfe being gone,
Shall live when earthly monument is nonne.

Chambers does not credit Sir William Dugdale's ascription of these lines to Shakespeare, but Milton may well have believed the popular ascription.