Mrs. T. K. Beecher,
July 2, 1895.
by Mark Twain
Carved into stones that now in the collection of Elmira College, this poem was written to Mrs. T. K. Beecher, the wife of the minister who married Mr. and Mrs. Clemens. It is an agreement to joyfully acknowledge his error if there turns to be such thing as an afterlife, and an advanced expression of his remorse should there be no afterlife.
This is a transcription of the original draft, which Clemens later gave to Mrs. Beecher at her request.
If you prove right and I prove wrong,
If I prove right, by God His grace,
A million years, O patient stone,