POEMS & VERSES

All is Well
Cannon H. Scott Holland

Death is just an open door
I have only slipped away
into 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 in your tone,
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

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 as it ever was;
there is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near;
safe and secure,
all is well.

The Broken Chain

We little knew that morning
that God was going to call your name,
In life we loved you dearly, in death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone.
For part of us went with you, the day God called you home.
You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide,
And though we cannot see you, you are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.

Crossing the Bar
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness or farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Dirge Without Music
Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of
loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look,
the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses.
Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know.
But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than
all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night
Dylan Thomas

Do not go gently into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Don’t Grieve For Me

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free,
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard his call,
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I’ve found that peace at the end of the day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah, yes, these things too I will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My Life’s been full, I savoured much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.

Epitaph on a Child
Thomas Gray

Here, freed from pain, secure from misery, lies
A child, the darling of his parents' eyes:
A gentler Lamb ne'er sported on the plain,
A fairer flower will never bloom again:
Few were the days allotted to his breath;
Now let him sleep in peace his night of death.

Footprints

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. he noticed that many time along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.

“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d 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 when I needed you most you would leave me.”

The Lord replied, “My son, my precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

Funeral Blues
W. H. Auden

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 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 wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

God’s Garden

God looked around his garden
And he found an empty place.
And then he looked down upon the earth,
And saw your tired face.

He put his arms around you,
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful,
He always takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering,
He knew you were in pain,
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.

He saw the road was getting rough,
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids,
And whispered “Peace be thine.”

It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home.

Gone From My Sight
Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore.
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.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says;
"There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull
and spar as she was when she left my side
and she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, "There, she is 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.

I Did Not Die
Mary E. Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet white doves in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.

I Have A Rendezvous With Death
Alan Seeger

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade
When Spring comes round with rustling shade
And apple blossoms fill the air.
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath;
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow flowers appear.

God knows ’twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear . . .
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

If Death is Kind
Sara Teasdale

Perhaps if death is kind, and there can be returning,
We will come back to earth some fragrant night,
And take these lanes to find the sea, and bending
Breathe the same honeysuckle, low and white.
We will come down at night to these resounding beaches
And the long gentle thunder of the sea,
Here for a single hour in the wide starlight
We shall be happy, for the dead are free.

If
Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop to build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And, which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!

In Flanders Fields
Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Memory
Joyce Kilmer

Serene and beautiful and very wise,
Most erudite in curious Grecian lore,
You lay and read your learned books, and bore
A weight of unshed tears and silent sighs.
The song within your heart could never rise
Until love bade it spread its wings and soar.
Nor could you look on Beauty’s face before
A poet’s burning mouth had touched your eyes.

Love is made out of ecstasy and wonder;
Love is a poignant and accustomed pain.
It is a burst of Heaven-shaking thunder;
It is a linnet’s fluting after rain.
Love’s voice is through your song;
above and under
And in each note to echo and remain.

A red rose is His Sacred Heart,
a white rose is His face,
And His breath has turned the barren
world to a rich and flowery place.
He is the Rose of Sharon,
His gardener am I,
And I shall drink His fragrance
in Heaven when I die.

Letting Go of You
Jenna Leigh Walters

I know I have to let you go.
How I will I do not know.
I know that it's your time to die.
What I don't know is how to say goodbye.
I'll miss you so much I don't know what to do.
I guess I'll just end this poem with a goodbye and an I love you.

Little Angels (1)

When God calls little children to dwell with Him above,
We mortals sometime question the wisdom of His love.
For no heartache compares with the death of one small child
Who does so much to make our world, seem wonderful and mild
Perhaps God tires of calling the aged to his fold,
So He picks a rosebud, before it can grow old.
God knows how much we need them, and so He takes but few
To make the land of Heaven more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult still somehow we must try,
The saddest word mankind knows will always be "Goodbye."
So when a little child departs, we who are left behind
Must realize God loves children, Angels are hard to find.

Little Angels (2)

(Change the name, age and gender for your own situation)

God sent an angel to the earth...
The sweetest angel too
and for such a tiny little thing,
she had so much to do.
She knew she did not have
much time upon this earth to stay,
so she did not waste a second;
she got started right away.

Her eyes were bright and sparkly,
she took in every turn.
She did not miss a single thing,
because Angel came to learn!
God sent her here to touch the
hearts of those He could not reach...
She taught them courage, strength and faith,
because Angel came to teach.

Her tiny little body
was so full of God above,
you felt it when you held her,
because Angel came to love.

In eleven short months she managed
what many never will.
When she went home to Jesus,
her purpose was fulfilled.
She learned and taught, loved and played,
she learned her lessons well.
I know He was so proud of her
when she went home to dwell.

But when I miss her oh so much,
I can almost hear Him say,
“Please understand, her work was done...
Angel did not come to stay.”

Love Lives On

Those we love are never really lost to us—
we feel them in so many special ways:
through friends they always cared about
and dreams they left behind,
in beauty that they added to our days,
in words of wisdom we still carry with us
and memories that never will be gone.

Those we love
are never really lost to us—
for everywhere their special love lives on.

Love Doesn't End With Dying
John Addey

Love doesn't end with dying
Or leave with the last breath.
For someone you've loved deeply,
Love doesn't end with death.

Memorial Day
Joyce Kilmer

The bugle echoes shrill and sweet,
But not of war it sings to-day.
The road is rhythmic with the feet
Of men-at-arms who come to pray.

The roses blossom white and red
On tombs where weary soldiers lie;
Flags wave above the honoured dead
And martial music cleaves the sky.

Above their wreath-strewn
graves we kneel,
They kept the faith and
fought the fight.
Through flying lead and
crimson steel
They plunged for Freedom
and the Right.

May we, their grateful children, learn
Their strength, who lie
beneath this sod,
Who went through fire
and death to earn
At last the accolade of God.

In shining rank on rank arrayed
They march, the legions of the Lord;
He is their Captain unafraid,
The Prince of Peace . . .
Who brought a sword.

Miss Me But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road
and the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little - but not too long,
and not with your head held low
Remember the love that we once shared.
Miss me - but let me go.

For this is a journey that we all must take,
and each must go alone
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan,
a step on the road to home.

My Mother’s Garden

My Mother kept a garden,
A garden of the heart.
She planted all the good things
That gave my life its start.

She turned me to the sunshine
And encouraged me to dream,
Fostering and nurturing
The seeds of self-esteem.

And when the winds and rains came
She protected me enough,
But not too much, she new I’d need
To stand up strong and tough.

Her constant good example
Always taught me right from wrong -
Markers for my pathway
That will last a lifetime long.

I am my Mother’s garden,
I am her legacy.
And I hope today she feels the love
Reflected back from me.

Old Irish Toast

May you have food and raiment,
A soft pillow for your head,
May you be forty years in heaven
Before the devil knows you're dead.

A Prayer

Heavenly Father hear my prayer,
Guide our Father with tender care,
Dear shepherd don't leave him alone,
Love him in heaven, as we do at home

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Your Peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow Love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may seek not so much to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.

Remember
Christina Georgina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more, day by day,
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that I once had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Requiem
Robert Louis Stevenson

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you gave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Songs of the Death of Children
Friedrich Ruckert

You must not shut the night inside you,
But endlessly in light the dark immerse.
A tiny lamp has gone out in my tent—
I bless the flame that warms the universe.

To My Dear and Loving Husband
Anne Bradstreet

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor aught by love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way reply;
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persever,
That when we live no more we may live ever.

To Sleep
John Keats

O soft embalmer of the still midnight,
Shutting, with careful
fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas’d eyes,
embower’d from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine:
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close
In midst of this thine hymn my willing eyes,
Or wait the "Amen," ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities.
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes,–
Save me from curious Conscience,
that still lords
Its strength for darkness,
burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly
in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed
Casket of my Soul.

Your Life Was Full of Loving Deeds

Your life was full of loving deeds,
Forever thoughtful of our special needs,
Today and tomorrow, my whole life through,
I will always love and cherish you

To Those I Love
Isla Paschal Richardson

If I should ever leave you,
Whom I love
To go along the silent way…
Grieve not.
Nor speak of me with tears.
But laugh and talk of me
As if I were beside you there.

(I'd come… I'd come,
Could I but find a way!
But would not tears and
And grief be barriers?)

And when you hear a song
Or see a bird I loved,
Please do not let the thought of me
Be sad… for I am loving you
Just as I always have…

You were so good to me!
There are so many things
I wanted still to do…
So many things I wanted to say
to you… Remember that
I did not fear… It was
Just leaving you
That was so hard to face.

We cannot see beyond…
But this I know:
I loved you so…
'twas heaven here with you!

Turn Again to Life
Mary Lee Hall

If I should die and leave you here a while,
be not like others sore undone,
who keep long vigil by the silent dust.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
nerving thy heart and trembling hand
to do something to comfort other hearts than thine.
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine
and I perchance may therein comfort you.

What Is This Thing That Man Call Death
Gordon B. Hinckley

What is this thing that men call death,
This quiet passing in the night?
'Tis not the end, but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light.

O God, touch thou my aching heart,
And calm my troubled, haunting fears.
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure,
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.

There is no death, but only change,
With recompense for vict'ry won.
The gift of Him who loved all men,
The Son of God, the Holy One.

The White Chariot
Julie Johnson

During your journey on your final flight home.
White wings will carry you and you will be flown.
To the pearly gates of Heaven, where they will usher you in.
To the feet of your Lord, your Saviour, and your friend.
He will hold you in his arms and the angels will sing.
As another one of His children is delivered by white wings