These lines are from Shakespeare's poem 'Fear no more'. Do I understand it correctly?

Ghost unlaid forbear thee

Nothing ill will come near thee

Quiet consummation have

And renowned be thy grave

Once you are dead, nothing can frighten/bother you -- nothing will harm you. Once your life is peacefully complete (quiet consummation have) and you go to your grave with grace, you will be remembered (renowned be thy grave).



PS: What does ghost unlaid forbear thee exactly mean?


Congratulations on an excellent analysis, anonymous!

I wish you'd register with a username by which we could recognise you every time you post.


An "unlaid ghost" is a ghost of a person who wasn't properly buried. Such a ghost is restless and goes about scaring people. When you're alive, you might be troubled by something like this, but not when you're dead.

The sense of the four lines is something like the following (overflowing with irony, as is so much of Shakespeare):

Restless ghost, leave this (dead) person alone - you're wasting your time trying to scare him now.

But, dear deceased person, no harm can come to you now, anyway.

So dear person, have a quiet end to your life.

And be your grave renowned (but will that really matter to you when you're dead?).

 Rover_KE's reply was promoted to an answer.