40+ Funeral Poems and Poetry for Funerals and Remembrance

Funeral poems and poetry can provide solace during such a distressing and stressful period. Some funeral poems are uplifting, while others are sad or even humorous. Here are some ideas for anyone looking for touching funeral poems or verses to read during their loved one’s funeral.

funeral poems

42 Funeral Poems and Verses

  1. Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas – Funeral poems

“Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

  1. 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…”

  1. Death is Nothing at All by Henry Scott Holland 

Life means all that it ever meant. 

It is the same as it ever was. 

There is absolute and unbroken continuity. 

What is this death but a negligible accident? 

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 round the corner.”

  1. Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson 

Because I could not stop for Death –

He kindly stopped for me –

The Carriage held but just Ourselves –

And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste

And I had put away

My labor and my leisure too,

For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove

At Recess – in the Ring –

We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –

We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed Us –

The Dews drew quivering and Chill –

For only Gossamer, my Gown –

My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed

A Swelling of the Ground –

The Roof was scarcely visible –

The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet

Feels shorter than the Day

I first surmised the Horses’ Heads

Were toward Eternity –

  1. 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 

  1. Warm Summer Sun by Walt Whitman  – Funeral poems

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.

Read Also:

  1. The Life That I Have Poem by Leo Marks 

The life that I have 

Is all that I have 

And the life that I have 

Is yours 

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. 

  1. Away by James Whitcomb Riley 

Think of him faring on, as dear

In the love of There as the love of Here.

Think of him still as the same. I say,

He is not dead—he is just away.

  1. Crossing the Bar by Lord Alfred Tennyson 

“Twilight and evening bell,

      And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of 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.”

  1. Requiem by 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 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.

  1. 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

silence.

I bow to you and hold up my lamp

to light you on your way.

funeral poems

  1. You’ve Just Walked on Ahead of Me by Joyce Grenfell – Funeral poems

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.

  1. Sonnets Are Full of Love by Christina Rossetti 

I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath

      Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honoured name:

      In you not fourscore years can dim the flame

Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws

   Of time and change and mortal life and death.”

  1. 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”

  1. Life by Charlotte Bronte – Funeral poems

Yet hope again elastic springs,

Unconquered, though she fell;

Still buoyant are her golden wings,

Still strong to bear us well.

  1. Remember Me by Christina Rossetti  – Funeral poems

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.

  1. God’s Garden by Katie Evans 

He put his arms around you

And lifted you to rest.

God’s garden must be beautiful

He always takes the best

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.”

  1. 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!”

– Funeral poems

  1. Sing Me a Song of a Lad That is Gone by Robert Louis Stevenson 

“Give me again all that was there, 

Give me the sun that shone! 

Give me the eyes, give me the soul, 

Give me the lad that’s gone!“

  1. 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 

Attempted still. 

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.

– Funeral poems

  1. 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 your 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.

  1. I am standing upon the seashore by Henry Van Dyke

“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!”

  1. On the Death of Anne Bronte by Charlotte Bronte 

THERE ‘s little joy in life for me,

And little terror in the grave ;

I ‘ve lived the parting hour to see

Of one I would have died to save.

Calmly to watch the failing breath,

Wishing each sigh might be the last ;

Longing to see the shade of death

O’er those belovèd features cast.

The cloud, the stillness that must part

The darling of my life from me ;

And then to thank God from my heart,

To thank Him well and fervently ;

Although I knew that we had lost

      The hope and glory of our life;

And now, benighted, tempest-tossed,

      Must bear alone the weary strife.

– Funeral poems

  1. She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron 

“One shade the more, one ray the less, 

Had half impaired the nameless grace 

Which waves in every raven tress, 

Or softly lightens o’er her face; 

Where thoughts serenely sweet express, 

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.”

  1. Remember by Christina Rosettii 

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.

  1. 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.

– Funeral poems

  1. Walking With Grief a Celtic Prayer 

Do not hurry

as you walk with grief;

it does not help the journey.

 

Walk slowly, pausing often:

do not hurry

as you walk with grief.

 

Be not disturbed

by memories that come unbidden.

Swiftly forgive;

and let Christ speak for you

unspoken words.

Unfinished conversation

will be resolved in Him.

Be not disturbed.

funeral poems

Be gentle with the one

who walks with grief.

If it is you,

be gentle with yourself.

Swiftly forgive;

walk slowly,

pausing often.

 

Take time, be gentle

as you walk with grief.

– Funeral poems

Read Also:

  1. Farewell my Friends by Rabindranath Tagore 

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 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

good friends.

Friends who stood by me

even when the time raced 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

think of me

for that’s what I’d like.

When you live in the hearts

of those you love,

remember then….

you never die.

– Funeral poems

  1. 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.

  1. Last Will and Testament by Max Scratchmann 

And as I sit upon my cloud and look down at the earth,

I’ll watch you use my worldly goods for festival and mirth,

And that will make me smile a smile, and have a laugh quite hearty,

To hear you say, the bugger’s dead, let’s have ourselves a party.

 

The Last Will and Testament of Jake Thackray 

“When I turn up my toes, when I rattle my clack, when I agonise,

I want no great wet weepings, no tearing of hair, no wringing of hands,

No sighs, no lack-a-days, no woe-is-me’s and none of your sad adieus.

Go, go, go and get the priest and then go get the booze, boys.”

  1. 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.

  1. Cold by Carol Ann Duffy 

It felt so cold, the snowball which wept in my hands,

and when I rolled it along in the snow, it grew

till I could sit on it, looking back at the house,

where it was cold when I woke in my room, the windows

blind with ice, my breath undressing itself on the air.

Cold, too, embracing the torso of snow which I lifted up

in my arms to build a snowman, my toes, burning, cold

in my winter boots; my mother’s voice calling me in

from the cold. And her hands were cold from peeling

then dipping potatoes into a bowl, stopping to cup

her daughter’s face, a kiss for both cold cheeks, my cold nose.

But nothing so cold as the February night I opened the door

in the Chapel of Rest where my mother lay, neither young, nor old,

where my lips, returning her kiss to her brow, knew the meaning of cold. 

– Funeral poems

  1. 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

more.

Death is many different things to many different people. I

think it is safe to say, however, that most people don’t like it.

Why?

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

in death.

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

old?

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.

  1. Idyll by Siegfried Sassoon

In the grey summer garden I shall find you

With day-break and the morning hills behind you.

There will be rain-wet roses; stir of wings;And d

own the wood a thrush that wakes and sings.

Not from the past you’ll come, but from that deep

Where beauty murmurs to the soul asleep:

And I shall know the sense of life re-born

From dreams into the mystery of morn

Where gloom and brightness meet. And standing there

Till that calm song is done, at last we’ll share

The league-spread, quiring symphonies that are

Joy in the world, and peace, and dawn’s one star.

  1. The Noble Nature by Ben Jonson

It is not growing like a tree
in bulk, doth make Man better be;
or standing long an oak three hundred year,
to fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere;

A lily of a day
is fairer in May,
although it fall and die that night-
It was the plant and flower of Light.
In small proportions we just beauties see:
and in short measures life may perfect be.

– Funeral poems

  1. No Coward Soul Is Mine by Emily Bronte

No coward soul is mine
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere
I see Heaven’s glories shine
And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear

O God within my breast
Almighty ever-present Deity
Life, that in me hast rest,
As I Undying Life, have power in Thee

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men’s hearts, unutterably vain,
Worthless as withered weeds
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by thy infinity,
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of Immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy spirit animates eternal years
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears

Though earth and moon were gone
And suns and universes ceased to be
And Thou wert left alone
Every Existence would exist in thee

There is not room for Death
Nor atom that his might could render void
Since thou art Being and Breath
And what thou art may never be destroyed.

  1. When I die I want your hands on my eyes by Pablo Neruda

When I die I want your hands on my eyes

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.

  1. Say Not, They Die, Those Splendid Souls by Anon

Say not, they die, those splendid souls,
Whose life is winged with purpose fine;
Who leave us, pointed to the goals;
Who learn to conquer and resign.
Such cannot die; they vanquish time,
And fill the world with glowing light,
Making the human life sublime
With memories of their secret might.
They cannot die whose lives are part
Of the great life that is to be;
Whose hearts beat with the world’s great heart,
And throb with its high intensity.
Those souls are great, who, dying, gave
A gift of greater life to man;
Death stands abashed before the brave;
They own a life death cannot ban.

  1. Peace, My Heart by Rabindranath Tagore

Peace, my heart, let the time for
the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain
into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end
in the folding of the wings over the
nest.  


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
silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp
to light you on your way.

  1. A Song Of Living by Amelia Josephine Burr

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 cheek 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 give a share of my soul to the world, when and where my course is run.
I know that another shall finish the task I 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.

 

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