Poems & Verse

A collection of poems & verses, popular in remembering loved ones. 

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A song of living

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheeks like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have kissed young love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end,
I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.
I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well.
I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I gave a share of my soul to the world, when and where my course is run.
I know that another shall finish the task I surely must leave undone.
I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain on the path I trod.
As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God,
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

Amelia Josephine Burr

But not forgotten

I think, no matter where you stray,
That I shall go with you a way.
Though you may wander sweeter lands,
You will not soon forget my hands,
Nor yet the way I held my head,
Nor all the tremulous things I said.
You still will see me, small and white
And smiling, in the secret night,
And feel my arms about you when
The day comes fluttering back again.
I think, no matter where you be,
You'll hold me in your memory
And keep my image, there without me,
By telling later loves about me.

Dorothy Parker

Death is nothing at all

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away to the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That, we still are

Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was
Let it be spoken without effect
Without the trace of a shadow on it

Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same that it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you
For an interval
Somewhere. Very near
Just around the corner

All is well.

Henry Scott Holland

Do not stand at my grave and weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush.

Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.

I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

Mary Frye

Farewell

Farewell to thee! but not farewell
To all my fondest thoughts of thee:
Within my heart they still shall dwell;
And they shall cheer and comfort me.

O, beautiful, and full of grace!
If thou hadst never met mine eye,
I had not dreamed a living face
Could fancied charms so far outvie.

If I may ne’er behold again
That form and face so dear to me,
Nor hear thy voice, still would I fain
Preserve, for aye, their memory.

That voice, the magic of whose tone
Can wake an echo in my breast,
Creating feelings that, alone,
Can make my tranced spirit blest.

That laughing eye, whose sunny beam
My memory would not cherish less; -
And oh, that smile! whose joyous gleam
Nor mortal language can express.

Adieu, but let me cherish, still,
The hope with which I cannot part.
Contempt may wound, and coldness chill,
But still it lingers in my heart.

And who can tell but Heaven, at last,
May answer all my thousand prayers,
And bid the future pay the past
With joy for anguish, smiles for tears?

Anne Bronte

Farewell my Friend

It was beautiful as long as it lasted
The journey of my life.
I have no regrets whatsoever
save the pain I’ll leave behind.

Those dear hearts who love and care.
And the strings pulling at the heart and soul.
The strong arms that held me up
When my own strength let me down.

At every turning of my life I came across good friends,
Friends who stood by me,
Even when the time raced me by.

Farewell, farewell my friends
I smile and bid you goodbye.

No, shed no tears for I need them not
All I need is your smile.

If you feel sad do think of me
for that’s what I’ll like when you live in the hearts
of those you love, remember then
you never die.

Rabindranath Tagore

Footprints in the Sand

One night I had a dream
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand;
One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before us,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
There was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life
This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You would walk with me all the way;
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why in times when I
needed you the most, you should leave me.
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious
child. I love you, and I would never,
never leave you during your times of
trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

Anon

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W.H. Auden

His journey’s just begun

Don’t think of him as gone away–
his journey’s just begun
life holds so many facets
this earth is only one.

Just think of him as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.

Think how he must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.

And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched…
for nothing loved is ever lost–
and he was loved so much.

Ellen Brenneman

I Measure Every Grief I Meet

I measure every grief I meet
With analytic eyes;
I wonder if it weighs like mine,
Or has an easier size.

I wonder if they bore it long,
Or did it just begin?
I could not tell the date of mine,
It feels so old a pain.

I wonder if it hurts to live,
And if they have to try,
And whether, could they choose between,
They would not rather die.

I wonder if when years have piled--
Some thousands--on the cause
Of early hurt, if such a lapse
Could give them any pause;

Or would they go on aching still
Through centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger pain
By contrast with the love.

Emily Dickinson

 

In Heavenly Love Abiding

In Heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear
And safe in such confiding, for nothing changes here
The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid
But God is round about me...and can I be dismayed?

Whever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back
My Shepherd is beside me and nothing can I lack
His wisdom ever walking, His sight is never dim
He knows the way He's talking, and I will walk with Him

Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen
Bright skies will soon be over me, where darkest clouds have been
My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free
My Saviour has my treasure, and He will walk with me.


Anna Laetita Waring

I fall asleep in the full and certain hope

I fall asleep in the full and certain hope
That my slumber shall not be broken;
And that though I be all-forgetting,
Yet shall I not be all-forgotten,
But continue that life in the thoughts and deeds
Of those I loved.

Samuel Butler

The Pillar Of Cloud

Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark and I am far from home
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet, I do not ask to see
The distant scene, one step enough for me

I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that Thou
Shouldst lead me on
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears
Pride rulled my will, remember not past years

So long Thy power hath blest me, sue it still
Will lead me on,
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone
And with the morn those Angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.


John Henry Newman

 

The dead they sleep

The dead they sleep a long, long sleep;
The dead they rest, and their rest is deep;
The dead have peace, but the living weep.

Samuel Hoffenstein

Time will ease the Hurt

The sadness of the present days
is locked and set in time,
and moving to the future
is a slow and painful climb.

But all the feelings that are now
so vivid and so real
can’t hold their fresh intensity
as time begins to heal.

No wound so deep will ever go
entirely away
yet every hurt becomes
a little less from day to day.

Nothing can erase the painful
imprints on your mind
but there are softer memories
that time will let you find.

Though your heart won’t let the sadness
simply slide away
the echoes will diminish
even though the memories stay

Anon


What is dying?

I am standing upon that foreshore, a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, “there! she’s gone!”

“Gone where?” “Gone from my sight, that’s all”, she is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side; just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at that moment when someone at my side says, “there! she’s gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “here she comes!”

And that is dying.

Bishop Brent

When a man knows God

"When a man knows God, he is free: his sorrows have an end,
and birth and death are no more. When in inner union he is
beyond the world of the body, then the third world, the world
of the Spirit, is found, where the power of the All is, and man
has all: for he is one with the ONE."

Svetasvatara Upanishad

 

When I am Dead, My Dearest
 

When I am dead, my dearest, 
Sing no sad songs for me; 
Plant thou no roses at my head, 
Nor shady cypress tree: 
Be the green grass above me 
With showers and dewdrops wet; 
And if thou wilt, remember, 
And if thou wilt, forget. 

I shall not see the shadows, 
I shall not feel the rain; 
I shall not hear the nightingale 
Sing on, as if in pain: 
And dreaming through the twilight 
That doth not rise nor set, 
Haply I may remember, 
And haply may forget. 

 

Christina Georgina Rossetti

 

When I die

When my coffin is being taken out
you must never think
I am missing this world

Don't shed any tears
Don't lament or
Feel sorry
I'm not falling
Into a monster's abyss

When you see
My corpse is being carried
Don't cry for my leaving
I'm not leaving
I'm arriving at eternal love

When you leave me
In the grave
Don't say goodbye
Remember a grave is
Only a curtain
For the paradise behind

You'll only see me
Descending into a grave
Now watch me rise
How can there be an end
When the sun sets or
The moon goes down

It looks like the end
It seems like a sunset
But in reality it is a dawn
When the grave locks you up
That is when your soul is freed

Have you ever seen
A seed fallen to earth
Not rise with a new life
Why should you doubt the rise
Of a seed named human

Have you ever seen
A bucket lowered into a well
Coming back empty
Why lament for a soul
When it can come back
Like Joseph from the well

When for the last time
You close your mouth
Your words and soul
Will belong to the world of
No place no time 

Rumi, ghazal number 911, translated by Nader Khalili

 

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