A celebration of life is all about honoring the life of the person you've lost rather than mourning their death. Undoubtedly, grief is terrible and confusing to wade through after the loss of someone you love. But by reciting celebration of life poems in their honor at a funeral, memorial or among friends, these positive, loving words can bring the focus back to the good you shared rather than the heartache or sympathy you may feel.
Related: Celebration of Life Invitation Ideas
For the loved ones in your life who are gone but never forgotten, keep reading for 100 meaningful and heartwarming celebration of life poems.
100 Celebration of Life Poems
1. "The Life That I Have" by Leo Marks
The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.
2. "Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" by Mary Elizabeth 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 birds 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.
3. "Warm Summer Sun" by Walt Whitman
Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.
4. "funeral" by rupi kaur
when i go from this place
dress the porch with garlands
as you would for a wedding day my dear
pull the people from their homes
and dance in the streets
when death arrives
like a bride at the aisle
send me off in my brightest clothing
serve ice cream with rose petals to our guests
there's no reason to cry my dear
i have waited my whole life
for such a beauty to take
my breath away
when i go
let it be a celebration
for i have been here
i have lived
i have won at this game called life
Related: Celebration of Life Ideas
5. "Life" by Charlotte Brontë
Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day.
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
O why lament its fall?
Life's sunny hours flit by,
Enjoy them as they fly!
What though Death at times steps in,
And calls our Best away?
What though sorrow seems to win,
O'er hope, a heavy sway?
Yet Hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell;
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell despair!
6. "Risk" by Anais Nin
And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
7. "Farewell my Friends" by Rabindranath Tagore
It was beautiful
as long as it lasted
the journey of my life.
I have no regrets
the pain I'll leave behind.
Those dear hearts
who love and care
and the heavy with sleep
ever moist eyes.
The smile, in spite of a
lump in the throat
and the strings pulling
at the heart and soul.
The strong arms
that held me up
when my own strength
let me down.
Each morsel that I was
fed with was full of love divine.
At every turning of my life
I came across
Friends who stood by me
even when the time raced by.
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
think of me
for that's what I'd like.
When you live in the hearts
of those you love,
you never die.
8. "All Is Well" by Henry Scott Holland
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
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.
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 shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it 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,
Just around the corner.
All is well.
9. "Your Spirit" by Tram-Tiara T. Von Reichenbach
I know that no matter what
You will always be with me.
When life separates us
I’ll know it is only your soul
Saying goodbye to your body
But your spirit will be with me always.
When I see a bird chirping on a nearby branch
I will know it is you singing to me.
When a butterfly brushes gently by me so care freely
I will know it is you assuring me you are free from pain.
When the gentle fragrance of a flower catches my attention
I will know it is you reminding me
To appreciate the simple things in life.
When the sun shining through my window awakens me
I will feel the warmth of your love.
When I hear the rain pitter patter against my window sill
I will hear your words of wisdom
And will remember what you taught me so well
That without rain trees cannot grow
Without rain flowers cannot bloom
Without life’s challenges I cannot grow strong.
When I look out to the sea
I will think of your endless love for your family.
When I think of mountains, their majesty and magnificence
I will think of your courage for your country.
No matter where I am
Your spirit will be beside me
For I know that no matter what
You will always be with me.
10. "When I Die I Want Your Hands on My Eyes" by Pablo Neruda
When I die I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and the wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me one more time
to feel the smoothness that changed my destiny.
I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep,
I want for your ears to go on hearing the wind,
for you to smell the sea that we loved together
and for you to go on walking the sand where we walked.
I want for what I love to go on living
and as for you I loved you and sang you above everything,
for that, go on flowering, flowery one,
so that you reach all that my love orders for you,
so that my shadow passes through your hair,
so that they know by this the reason for my song.
11. "There Is No Light Without a Dawning" by Helen Steiner Rice
No winter without a spring
And beyond the dark horizon
Our hearts will once more sing...
For those who leave us for a while
Have only gone away
Out of a restless, care worn world
Into a brighter day
12. "Let Me Die a Young Man's Death" by Roger McGough
Let me die a young man's death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holy water death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death
When I'm 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party
Or when I'm 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber's chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommy guns burst in
and give me a short back and insides
Or when I'm 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one
Let me die a young man's death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
'what a nice way to go' death
13. "The Dash" by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
From the beginning... to the end
He noted that first came the date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time
That they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
Know what that little line is worth
For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars... the house... the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering this special dash
Might only last a little while
So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life's actions to rehash...
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent YOUR dash?
14. "She Is Gone" by David Harkins
You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
15. "A Long Cup of Tea" by Michael Ashby
Death is too negative for me
So I'll be popping off for a long cup of tea
Do splash out on two bags in the pot
And for my God's sake keep the water hot
16. "You’ve Just Walked on Ahead of Me" by Joyce Grenfell
I try and cope the best I can
But I'm missing you so much
If I could only see you
And once more feel your touch.
Yes, you've just walked on ahead of me
Don't worry I'll be fine
But now and then I swear I feel
Your hand slip into mine.
Related: 100 Quotes for Tough Times
17. "Sanctum" by Beulah B. Malkin
I built a tiny garden
In a corner of my heart.
I kept it just for lovely things
And bade all else depart.
And ever was there music,
And flowers blossomed fair;
And never was it perfect
Until you entered there.
18. "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
this grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
19. "In Memoriam" by William Morecomb
For a second you were flying
Like you always wanted to
Now you’ll fly forever
In skies of azure blue
We’ll see your smile in every ray
Of sunshine after rain
And hear the echo of your laughter
Over all the pain
The world’s a little quieter now
The colours have lost their hue
The birds are singing softly
And our hearts are missing you
Each time we see a little cloud
Or a rainbow soaring high
We’ll think of you and gently
Wipe a tear from our eye.
20. "A Song of Living" by Amelia Josephine Burr
I give a share of my soul to the world where my course is run.
I know that another shall finish the task I must leave undone.
21. "Success" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is success?
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch Or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!
22. "Remembered in Thy Full Bloom" by Robert J. Lindley, Teppo Gren, and Michael P. Clark
Thou art remembered in thy full bloom,
a rose grown within my garden of life.
Thou art lost to me and this my doom,
Gone the tender love of my precious wife.
Ill wind had blown, poisoned arrows of fate,
love lost, ever I cry, we reunite.
Tho', should such be only at Heaven's gate,
illuminated, in true love's precious flight.
Thine effect so lives in my lonesome cast
as I meander in my ruthless path,
in darkened dust of my ill-fated past,
dying to break free from this endless wrath.
Yet memories sighs they recall our love,
when we did caress love's fiery desires.
In wondrous passions our hearts flew above,
Thou art memories ghost, kindling love's fires.
Pray I, your dream-winds soft and fair tonight,
eager heart leaps to melt in beauty's glows.
With yellow-moon kisses, all could be right,
our love's truth, written in destiny's scrolls.
As lonely spirits found love's true accord,
thy gentle soul caressed my heart with joy.
It was thy gracious beauty I adored,
for endless days thy soft caress enjoy.
Thou comest beloved, love for to bring,
thy wondrous beauty, darkness doth dispel.
In divinity thy heart it doth sing,
one moment of joy my heart did foretell.
Within each heart's spirit, desire to come
pray future treasures that announce their glow.
Thy touch, paradise in love's kingdom,
may we with grace, beg our romance to grow.
The light of life returned from dust to dust
be it not my destiny to abide,
and side with mortal ways in life unjust,
with a forlorn dream to be by my side.
Now back to the terror of my dark night,
once more into the pits of hell I fall.
Despair and sorrow darken God's bright light,
Deaths promised joys shall come, I hear death call.
Pray true, warmth and true color to the rose,
return pure gleam that sent my heart to thee.
Wherein all time, forever thee I chose,
thou art ripest flower, I thy lone bee.
Rejoice in death to treasure thine embrace
as end is nigh, with courage to depart.
A halo uncovers thy beauty's grace
to cast celestial light, and mend my heart.
And now doth come my end, I see death's light,
death doth touch my heart, now eternal love.
My beloved, I see thee shining bright,
I now praise death as I ascend above.
As my life's last shadow so swiftly falls,
pray I, this aching soul hears thy dear voice.
Ancient echoes whisper love words, thy calls,
now dear wife, I fly forth, your love my choice.
In heaven‘s garden thy rose blooms in trine,
as love’s eternal bond in sacred love
is cast beyond the faith of God’s design,
and prayers of truth are whispered up above.
23. "Requiem" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie
Glad did I live and gladly I die,
And I laid me down with a will
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea;
And the hunter home from the hill.
24. "Care" by Barrie Davenport
The world spins and turns
Slowly—but without mercy
Or care. A leaf falls.
25. "The Guest House" by Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
26. "God's Garden" by Melissa Shreve
God looked around his garden and found an empty place
He then looked down upon the Earth and saw your tired face
He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest
With the help of his angels they flew you to your heavenly place
Gods garden must be beautiful, he always takes the best
He knew 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 too hard to climb
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.
27. "I Have Not Gone" by Unknown
You think I’ve gone, that I am dead, and life has lost its will,
But look around, I am right there, living with you still
I watch your tears, I feel your pain – I see the things you do
I weep as well, each time you cry, my soul, it lives with you
It gives such joy to hear you laugh, and do the things you do
And when you smile o’er by gone days, I smile right with you too
For we’re still one, just you and me, one mind, one soul, one being
Walking forward into life, though only you are seen
And in the stillness of the night, when the pain it really starts
Stretch out a little with your mind and draw me to your heart
For I am always right in there, always by your side
For you have been, all my life’s days, my joy, my love my pride.
28. "The Peace of Wild Things" by Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
29. "When At Your Heart Should Be Sad" by Sir Walter Raleigh
When at heart you should be sad,
Pondering the joys we had,
Listen and keep very still.
If the lowing from the hill
Or the toiling of a bell
Do not serve to break the spell,
Listen: you may be allowed
To hear my laughter from a cloud.
30. "To Those I Love" by Isla Pachal 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 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 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!
Related: 50 Prayer Quotes
31. "Death Is a Journey" by Sri Chinmoy
Death is at once
The end of the body’s
And the beginning of the soul’s
32. "Is My Soul Asleep" by Antonio Machado
Is my soul asleep?
Have those beehives that work
in the night stopped? And the water—
wheel of thought, is it
going around now, cups
empty, carrying only shadows?
No, my soul is not asleep.
It is awake, wide awake.
It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches,
its eyes wide open
far-off things, and listens
at the shores of the great silence.
33. "Pardon Me For Not Getting Up" by Kelly Roper
Oh dear, if you’re reading this right now,
I must have given up the ghost.
I hope you can forgive me for being
Such a stiff and unwelcoming host.
Just talk amongst yourself my friends,
And share a toast or two.
For I am sure you will remember well
How I loved to drink with you.
Don't worry about mourning me,
I was never easy to offend.
Feel free to share a story at my expense
And we'll have a good laugh at the end.
34. "Epitaph" by Merrit Malloy
When I die
give what’s left of me away
and old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
cry for your brother
walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
put your arms
and give them
what you need to give to me.
I want to leave you something,
Look for me
in the people I’ve known
and if you cannot give me away,
at least let me live on your eyes
and not on your mind.
You can love me most
hands touch hands,
bodies touch bodies,
and by letting go
that need to be free.
Love doesn’t die,
So, when all that’s left of me
give me away.
I’ll see you at home
in the earth.
35. "Away" by James Whitcomb Riley
I cannot say and I will not say
That he is dead, he is just away.
With a cheery smile and a wave of hand
He has wandered into an unknown land;
And left us dreaming how very fair
Its needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you — oh you, who the wildest yearn
From the old-time step and the glad return —
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of there, as the love of here
Think of him still the same way, I say;
He is not dead, he is just away.
36. "Remember Me—I Will Love Forever" by Robert N. Test
The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital; busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.
When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my deathbed. Let it be called the bed of life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.
Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face or love in the eyes of a woman.
Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.
Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
Give my kidneys to the one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.
Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.
Explore every corner of my brain.
Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her window.
Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weakness and all prejudice against my fellow man.
Give my sins to the devil.
Give my soul to God.
If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.
37. "Remember Me" by Margaret Mead
To the living, I am gone,
To the sorrowful, I will never return,
To the angry, I was cheated,
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot speak, but I can listen.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore gazing at a beautiful sea,
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity,
Remember me in your heart:
Your thoughts, and your memories,
Of the times we loved,
The times we cried,
The times we fought,
The times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will never have gone.
38. "She's In the Sun, the Wind, the Rain" by Christy Ann Martine
She’s in the sun, the wind, the rain,
she’s in the air you breathe
with every breath you take.
She sings a song of hope and cheer,
there’s no more pain, no more fear.
You’ll see her in the clouds above,
hear her whisper words of love,
you’ll be together before long,
until then, listen for her song.
39. "There Is No Death" by Unknown
There is a plan far greater than the plan you know;
There is a landscape broader than the one you see.
There is a haven where storm-tossed souls may go—
You call it death—we, immortality.
You call it death—this seemingly endless sleep;
We call it birth—the soul at last set free.
‘Tis hampered not by time or space—you weep.
Why weep at death? ‘Tis immortality.
Farewell, dear Voyageur—’twill not be long.
Your work is done—now may peace rest with thee.
Your kindly thoughts and deeds—they will live on.
This is not death—’tis immortality.
Farewell, dear voyageur—the river winds and turns;
The cadence of your song wafts near to me,
And now you know the thing that all men learn:
There is no death—there’s immortality.
40. "Remember When You Go" by Rebecca Puig
Remember when you go into the world to
keep your eyes and ears wide open.
And be kind.
Love one another.
Take care of each other.
Tell the truth.
Always do your best.
Listen to the big people and the little people.
Explore new paths and have fun.
Know that you are loved like crazy.
Give thanks for all your blessings.
Above all else,
Love and you will do
wonderful things in this world.
41. "How Grateful I Would Be to Have Just One More Day" by Kathy J. Parenteau
If I could have just one more day and
wishes did come true,
I’d spend every glorious moment
side by side with you.
Recalling all the years we shared
and memories we made,
how grateful I would be
to have just one more day.
Where the tears I’ve shed are
not in vain and only fall in bliss,
so many things I’d let you know
about the days you’ve missed.
I wouldn’t have to make pretend
you never went away,
how grateful I would be to
have just one more day.
When that day came to a close
and the sun began to set,
a million times I’d let you know
I never will forget.
The heart of gold you left behind
when you entered Heaven’s gate,
how grateful I would be to
have just one more day.
42. "When Tomorrow Starts Without Me" by David M. Romano
When tomorrow starts without me and I am not here to see
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me
I know how much you love me as much as I love you
And each time you think of me I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me please try to understand
That Jesus came and called my name and took me by the hand.
He said my place is ready in heaven far above
And that I have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away a tear fell from my eye
For all my life I’d always thought it wasn’t my time to die.
I had so much to live for and so much yet to do
It seems almost impossible that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays the good ones and the bad
I thought of all the love we shared and all the fun we had.
If I could have stayed for just a little while
I’d say goodbye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realize that this could never be
For emptiness and memories would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things that I’d miss come tomorrow
I thought of you and when I did my heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through Heaven’s gate and felt so much at home
As God looked down and smiled at me from his great golden throne.
He said This is eternity And all I’ve promised you
Today your life on earth is past but here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow but today will always last
And since each day’s the same here there’s no longing for the past.
So when tomorrow starts without me don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me I’m right here in your heart.
43. "Last Journey" by Timothy Coote
There is a train at the station
With a seat reserved just for me
I’m excited about its destination
As I’ve heard it sets you free
The trials and tribulations
The pain and stress we breathe
Don’t exist were I am going
Only happiness I believe
I hope that you will be there
To wish me on my way
It’s not a journey you can join in
It’s not your time today
There’ll be many destinations
Some are happy, some are sad
Each one a brief reminder
Of the great times that we’ve had
Many friends I know are waiting
Who took an earlier train
To greet and reassure me
That nothing has really changed
We’ll take the time together
To catch up on the past
To build a new beginning
One that will always last
One day you’ll take your journey
On the train just like me
And i promise that I’ll be there
At the station and you will see
That Life is just a journey
Enriched by those you meet
No one can take that from you
It’s always yours to keep’
But now as no seat is vacant
You will have to muddle through
Make sure you fulfill your ambitions
As you know I’ll be watching you
And if there’s an occasion
To mention who you knew
Speak kindly of that person
As one day it will be you
Now i can’t except this ending
And as it’s time for me to leave
Please make haste to the reception
To enjoy my drinks, they’re free!
44. "I Am Standing Upon the Seashore" by Henry Van Dyke
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving 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 from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
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 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...
Death comes in its own time, in its own way.
Death is as unique as the individual experiencing it.
45. "When I Must Leave You" by Helen Steiner Rice
When I must leave you
For a little while;
Please do not grieve
And shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you
Through the years,
But start out bravely
With a gallant smile;
And for my sake
And for my name
Live on and do
all things the same,
Feed not your loneliness
On empty days,
But fill each waking hour
In useful ways,
Reach out your hand
In comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you
And hold you near;
And never, never
Be afraid to die
For I am waiting for you in the sky!
46. "He Is Gone (Remember Me)" by David Harkins
You can shed tears that he is gone,
Or you can smile because he lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes,
love and go on.
47. "The Broken Chain" by Ron Tranmer
We little knew the day 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
But you didn’t 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.
48. "They That Love Beyond the World" by William Penn
They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it,
death cannot kill what never dies.
Nor can spirits ever be divided that love
and live in the same divine principle,
the root and record of their friendship.
If absence be not death, neither is theirs.
Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas;
they live in one another still.
For they must needs be present,
that love and live in that which is ominipresent.
In this divine glass, they see face to face;
and their converse is free as well as pure.
This is the comfort of friends,
that though they may be said to die,
yet their friendship and society are,
in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.
49. Excerpt from House on Pooh Corner, Chapter 10 by A.A. Milne
Christopher Robin was going away. Nobody knew why he was going, nobody knew where he was going; Nobody even knew why he knew that Christopher Robin was going away. But somehow or other everybody in the Forest felt that it was happening at last...
50. "A Meeting" by Edith Wharton
On a sheer peak of joy we meet;
Below us hums the abyss;
Death either way allures our feet
If we take one step amiss.
One moment let us drink the blue
Transcendent air together—
Then down where the same old work's to do
In the same dull daily weather.
We may not wait . . . yet look below!
How part? On this keen ridge
But one may pass. They call you—go!
My life shall be your bridge.
51. "To Those Whom I Love & Those Who Love Me” by Unknown
When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn't tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.
I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you've given me in happiness.
I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I traveled on alone.
So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must,
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart.
I won't be far away for life goes on.
And if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I will be near.
And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear,
All my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and a 'Welcome Home.'
52. "One" by Shawnee Kellie
One word can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream;
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald Spring.
One smile can bring a friendship,
One handclasp can lift a soul;
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One cheer can obtain a goal.
One vote can change a Nation,
One sunbeam can lift a room;
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One look can change two lives;
One kiss can make love bloom.
One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer;
One hope can raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what’s true;
One life can make a difference,
One life is me and you…
53. "Make Me Feel" by Mariah Chandan
Take my heart; I’ll give it with ease.
Take my hand and walk this journey with me.
Take these scars and heal them all up.
Take these fears and make them vanish when things get tough.
Take this smile and make it stretch so wide.
Take these arms and hold me oh so tight.
Take these feelings and make them real.
At the end, show me how to feel.
54. "i carry your heart with me(i carry it in)" by e.e. cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
55. "When Great Trees Fall" by Maya Angelou
When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
small things recoil into silence,
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
56. "Not, How Did He Die, But How Did He Live?," Unknown
Not, how did he die, but how did he live?
Not, what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of his birth.
Nor what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with words of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when he passed away?
Related: Bible Verses About Faith
57. "After Glow" by Unknown
I’d like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an after glow
of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times
and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve,
to dry before the sun
of happy memories
that I leave when life is done
58. "#34" by rupi kaur
most importantly love
like it’s the only thing you know how
at the end of the day all this
where you’re sitting
nothing even matters
except love and human connection
who you loved
and how deeply you loved them
how you touched the people around you
and how much you gave them
59. "Epitaph on my Own Friend" by Robert Burns
An honest man here lies at rest,
As e'er God with His image blest:
The friend of man, the friend of truth;
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm'd,
Few heads with knowledge so inform'd:
If there's another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.
60. "All Is Not Lost"
The moments of birth
A slick baby cries in awe:
No, all is not lost...
61. "His Journey’s Just Begun" by Ellen Brenneman
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.
62. "The White Chariot" by 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.
63. "A Silent Tear" by Gaynor Llewellyn
Just close your eyes and you will see
All the memories that you have of me
Just sit and relax and you will find
I’m really still there inside your mind
Don’t cry for me now I’m gone
For I am in the land of song
There is no pain, there is no fear
So dry away that silent tear
Don’t think of me in the dark and cold
For here I am, no longer old
I’m in that place that’s filled with love
Known to you all, as “UP ABOVE”.
64. "Death" by Joe Brainard
Death is a funny thing. Most people are afraid of it, and yet
they don't even know what it is.
Perhaps we can clear this up.
What is death?
Death is it. That's it. Finished. 'Finito.' Over and out. No
Death is many different things to many different people. I
think it is safe to say, however, that most people don't like it.
Because they are afraid of it.
Why are they afraid of it?
Because they don't understand it.
I think that the best way to try to understand death is to
think about it a lot. Try to come to terms with it. Try to really
understand it. Give it a chance!
Sometimes it helps if we try to visualize things.
Try to visualize, for example, someone sneaking up behind
your back and hitting you over the head with a giant hammer.
Some people prefer to think of death as a more spiritual
thing. Where the soul somehow separates itself from the mess
and goes on living forever somewhere else. Heaven and hell being
the most traditional choices.
Death has a very black reputation but, actually, to die is a
perfectly normal thing to do.
And it's so wholesome: being a very important part of
nature's big picture. Trees die, don't they? And flowers?
I think it's always nice to know that you are not alone. Even
Let's think about ants for a minute. Millions of ants die
every day, and do we care? No. And I'm sure that ants feel the
same way about us.
But suppose—just suppose—that we didn't have to die.
That wouldn't be so great either. If a 90-year-old man can hardly
stand up, can you imagine what it would be like to be 500 years
Another comforting thought about death is that 80 years or
so after you die nobody who knew you will still be alive to miss you.
And after you're dead, you won't even know it.
65. "If I Should Go" by Joyce Grenfell
Weep if you must,
Parting is Hell,
But life goes on
So sing as well
66. "Darling" by Jackie Kay
You might forget the exact sound of her voice,
Or how her face looked when sleeping.
You might forget the sound of her quiet weeping
Curled into the shape of a half moon,
When smaller than her self, she seemed already to be leaving
Before she left, when the blossom was on the trees
And the sun was out, and all seemed good in the world.
I held her hand and sang a song from when I was a girl—
Heil Ya Ho Boys, Let her go Boys
And when I stopped singing she had slipped away,
Already a slip of a girl again, skipping off,
Her heart light, her face almost smiling.
And what I didn’t know, or couldn’t see then,
Was that she hadn’t really gone.
The dead don’t go till you do, loved ones.
The dead are still here holding our hands.
67. "When I Die" by Rumi
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
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.
68. "My Symphony" by William Henry Channing
To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion,
to be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard, think quietly,
talk gently, act frankly,
to listen to stars and birds,
to babes and sages,
with open heart,
to bear all cheerfully,
to all bravely await occasions,
In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden
and unconscious grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.
69. "They Are Not Dead" by Unknown
They are not dead,
Who leave us this great heritage
Of remembered joy.
They still live in our hearts,
In the happiness we knew,
In the dreams we shared.
They still breathe,
In the lingering fragrance windblown,
From their favourite flowers.
They still smile in the moonlight’s silver
And laugh in the sunlight’s sparkling gold.
They still speak in the echoes of words.
We’re heard them say again and again.
They still move,
In the rhythm of waving grasses,
In the dance of the tossing branches.
They are not dead;
Their memory is warm in our hearts,
Comfort in our sorrow.
They are not apart from us,
But a part of us
For love is eternal,
And those we love shall be with us
Throughout all eternity.
70. "The Gardener LXI (Peace My Heart)" by Rabindranath Tagore
Let the last touch of your hands be
gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand Still, O Beautiful End, for a
moment, and say your last words in
I bow to you and hold up my lamp
to light you on your way.
71. "I Will Love Death" by Sri Chinmoy
I know I will love death.
Because death too
Is God’s creation
And because death reminds me
Of the existence of her sister:
Infinity’s Life immortal.
72. "When I'm Gone" by Lyman Hancock
When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile
Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
And remember only the smile
Forget unkind words I have spoken
Remember some good I have done
Forget that I ever had heartache
And remember I’ve had loads of fun
Forget that I’ve stumbled and blundered
And sometimes fell by the way
Remember I have fought some hard battles
And won, ere the close of the day
Then forget to grieve for my going
I would not have you sad for a day
But in summer just gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay
And come in the shade of evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best.
73. "For Katrina's Sun Dial" by Henry Van Dyke
Time is too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love, time is
74. "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds,—and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew—
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
75. "The New Life's Salutation" by Anna Barabauld
Life, we’ve been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
‘Tis hard to part when friends are dear,
Perhaps ’twill cost a sigh, a tear;
Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time:
Say not 'Good night,' but in some brighter clime
Bid me 'Good morning.'
76. "A Parting Guest" by James Whitcomb Riley
What delightful guests are they
Life and Love!
Lingering I turn away,
This late hour, yet glad enough
They have not witheld from me
Their high hospitality.
So with face lit with delight
And all gratitude, I stay
Yet to press their hands and say,
'Thanks. So fine a time! Goodnight.'
77. "Intimations of Immortality" by William Wordsworth
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.
78. "I Fall Asleep" by Samuel Butler
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 forgotten,
But continue that life in the thoughts and deeds
of those I loved.
79. "How Do I Love Thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
80. "He That Is Down Needs Fear No Fall" by John Bunyan
He that is down needs fear no fall,
He that is low, no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.
I am content with what I have,
Little be it or much;
And, Lord, contentment will I crave,
Because Thou savest such.
Fullness to such a burden is
That go on pilgrimage:
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
Is best from age to age.
81. "When I am Dead, My Dearest" by Christina Rossetti
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.
Related: 130 Popular Bible Verses
82. "Death" by Sean Hughes
I want to be cremated
I know how boring funerals can be
I want people to gather
meet new people
have a laugh, a dance, meet a loved one
83. "My Angel" by CJR
I wake up in the morning,
And I look up to the sky.
I wonder why he took you,
before I said good-bye.
I look up to the stars at night,
And know you’re looking down.
I’d like to think you’re proud of me,
But I’m just stumbling round.
I crawl in bed and close my eyes,
And realize that you’re gone.
Then comes the fears and then the tears,
And life just seems so wrong.
I glance up at the heavens,
And I know you’re flying by.
My Angel’s watching over me,
I’m happy as I cry.
84. "Turn Again to Life" by Mary Lee Hall
If I should die and
Leave you here awhile
Be not like others sore undone,
Who keep long vigils
By the silent dust and weep.
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.
85. "Fallen Limb" by Unknown
A limb has fallen from the family tree.
I keep hearing a voice that says, “Grieve not for me”.
Remember the best times, the laughter, the song.
The good life I lived while I was strong.
Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you.
Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through.
My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest.
Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.
Continue traditions, no matter how small.
Go on with your life, don’t worry about falls
I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin.
Until the day comes we’re together again.
86. "How Wonderful Is Death" by Percy Bysshe Shelley
How wonderful is Death,
Death, and his brother Sleep!
One, pale as yonder waning moon
With lips of lurid blue;
The other, rosy as the morn
When throned on ocean’s wave
It blushes o’er the world;
Yet both so passing wonderful!
87. "On Death" by Kahlil Gibran
Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open you heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
88. "Should You Go First" by A.A. Roswell
Should you go first and I remain
to walk the road alone
I’ll live in memory’s garden, dear
with happy days we’ve known
in Spring I’ll wait for roses red,
when fades the lilacs blue,
in early fall, when brown leaves call
I’ll catch a glimpse of you
Should you go first, and I remain
for battles to be fought,
each thing you’ve touched along the way
will be a hallowed spot
I’ll hear your voice;
I’ll see your smile,
though blindly I may grope
the memory of your helping hand
will buoy me on with hope
Should you go first and I remain
to finish with the scroll,
no length’ning shadows ahall creep in
to make this life seem droll
We’ve known so much of happiness
we’ve had our cup of joy,
and memory is one gift of God
that death cannot destroy
Should you go first and I remain,
one thing I’d have you do;
walk slowly down that long, lone path,
for soon I’ll follow you
I’ll want to know each step you take
that I may walk the same,
for some day down that lonely road
you’ll hear me call your name
89. "Last Will and Testament" by Max Scratchman
And as I sit upon my cloud and look down at the earth,
I'll watch you use my worldly goods fo festival and mirth,
And that will make me smile a smile, and have a laugh quite hearty.
90. "It Was Like This: You Were Happy" by Jane Hirshfield
It was like this:
you were happy, then you were sad,
then happy again, then not.
It went on.
You were innocent or you were guilty.
Actions were taken, or not.
At times you spoke, at other times you were silent.
Mostly, it seems you were silent—what could you say?
Now it is almost over.
Like a lover, your life bends down and kisses your life.
It does this not in forgiveness—
between you, there is nothing to forgive—
but with the simple nod of a baker at the moment
he sees the bread is finished with transformation.
Eating, too, is a thing now only for others.
It doesn't matter what they will make of you
or your days: they will be wrong,
they will miss the wrong woman, miss the wrong man,
all the stories they tell will be tales of their own invention.
Your story was this: you were. happy, then you were sad,
you slept, you awakened.
Sometimes you ate roasted chestnuts, sometimes persimmons.
91. "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" by Dylan Thomas
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion
92. "Our Memories Build a Special Bridge" by Emily Mathews
When loved ones have to part
To help us feel were with them still
And soothe a grieving heart
They span the years and warm our lives
Preserving ties that bind
Our memories build a special bridge
And bring us peace of mind.
93. "Inside Our Dreams" by Jeanne Willis
Where do people go to when they die?
Somewhere down below or in the sky?
‘I can’t be sure,’ said Grandad, ‘but it seems
They simply set up home inside our dreams.’
94. "A Happy Man" by Edwin Arlington Robinson
When these graven lines you see,
Traveller, do not pity me;
Though I be among the dead,
Let no mournful word be said.
95. "Consolation" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Though he, that ever kind and true,
Kept stoutly step by step with you,
Your whole long, gusty lifetime through,
Be gone a while before,
Be now a moment gone before,
Yet, doubt not, soon the seasons shall restore
Your friend to you.
He has but turned the corner — still
He pushes on with right good will,
Through mire and marsh, by heugh and hill,
That self-same arduous way —
That self-same upland, hopeful way,
That you and he through many a doubtful day
He is not dead, this friend — not dead,
But in the path we mortals tread
Got some few, trifling steps ahead
And nearer to the end;
So that you too, once past the bend,
Shall meet again, as face to face, this friend
You fancy dead.
Push gaily on, strong heart! The while
You travel forward mile by mile,
He loiters with a backward smile
Till you can overtake,
And strains his eyes to search his wake,
Or whistling, as he sees you through the brake,
Waits on a stile.
96. "All Nature Has a Feeling" by John Clare
All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books;
There’s nothing mortal in them; their decay
Is the green life of change; to pass away
And come again in blooms revivified.
Its birth was heaven, eternal it its stay,
And with the sun and moon shall still abide
Beneath their day and night and heaven wide.
97. "Love Lives on" by Unknown
Those we love remain with us
for love itself lives on,
and cherished memories never fade
because a loved one’s gone.
Those we love can never
be more than a thought apart,
far as long as there is memory,
they’ll live on in the heart.
98. "Farewell" by Emily Brontë
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.
Life seems more sweet that Thou didst live
And men more true Thou wert one;
Nothing is lost that Thou didst give,
Nothing destroyed that Thou hast done.
99. "Alive" by Winifred Mary Letts
Because you live, though out of sight and reach,
I will, so help me God, live bravely too,
Taking the road with laughter and gay speech,
Alert, intent to give life all its due.
I will delight my soul with many things,
The humours of the street and books and plays,
Great rocks and waves winnowed by seagulls’ wings,
Star-jewelled Winter nights, gold harvest days.
I will for your sake praise what I have missed,
The sweet content of long-united lives,
The sunrise joy of lovers who have kissed,
Children with flower-faces, happy wives.
And last I will praise Death who gives anew
Brave life adventurous and love—and you.
100. "Remember" by Christina 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 plann'd:
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 once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
Next up, 25 funny poems for a good laugh.