Poems can be a lovely addition to any funeral, providing solace and inspiration to the audience at a time of grieving. Below, we have compiled a collection of some of the most popular funeral poems for you to use. Click the poem titles below to view more.

Hebrew Proverb

‘Say not in grief he is no more, but live in thankfulness that he was’

Buddhist sayings

‘Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, which is why it is called the present’

‘What the caterpillar perceives is the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning’

‘Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well’

Mark Twain, The refuge of the Derelicts 1905

‘There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy and a tragedy.’

Dr Benjamin Elijah Mays, 1894-1984

It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal…

The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.

It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled.

But it is a calamity not to dream.

It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal,

But it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture.

It is not a disgrace no to reach the stars.

But it is a disgrace not to have stars to reach for.

It is not failure but a low aim that is a sin.

Do not stand at my grave and weep - 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 sun 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 light.

I am the soft star that shines at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there;

I did not die.

Do not stand at my grave and weep (slightly adapted) - Anonymous

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 glint on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle Autumn rain.

I am the shining star at night,

When you awake to the morning light.

My time has come, I am at rest,

I am the sunset in the West.

I am the clouds that race above,

Where I watch over those that I love.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there I did not die.

So hear the words that here I say,

I am the love that guides your way.

Farewell - Anne Bronte, 1820-1849

Farewell to thee! But not farewell…

To all my fondest thought 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 dids’t give,

Nothing destroy that Thou hast done.

Indian Prayer

When I am dead…

Cry for me a little.

Think of me sometimes,

But not too much.

Think of me now and again

As I was in life.

At some moments it’s pleasant to recall

but not for too long.

Leave me in peace

And I shall leave you in peace.

And while you live

Let your thoughts be with the living.

Binyons Lines

They shall not grow old, as that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,

at the going down of the sun and in the morning

we will remember them.

When I die and leave behind

When I die and leave behind…

this earth I love

these trees, this sky,

the pounding sea,

the yearly hope of Spring.

Cry not for me,


My souls has wings

And in its freedom sings.

Adaptation of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3

For everything there is a season…

A time for occupation under heaven.

A time to be born, a time to die,

a time for planting, a time for uprooting.

A time for tears, a time for laughter

a time for mourning, a time for dancing,

a time for searching, a time for losing.

A time for conflict and a time for peace.

He is gone - 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 loved that you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,

or 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.

She is gone - David Harkins

You can shed tears that she is gone,

or you can smile because she 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.

You can turn you back on tomorrow and live yesterday,

or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only hat she is gone

or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back.

Or you can do what she would want: smile,

Remember - Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894

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 once I had,

better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

But not forgotten

I think no matter where you stray,

that I shall go with you away.

Though you may wander sweeter lands,

you will not forget my hands,

Nor yet the way I held my head

nor the tremendous things I said.

You will still see me, small and white

And feel my arms about you when,

the day comes fluttering back again.

I think, no matter where you be,

you’ll hold And keep my image there without me,

by telling later loves about me.

I am standing on the sea shore - Bishop Charles Henry Brent, 1862-1929

I am standing on the sea shore,

a ship sails and spreads his white sails to the morning breeze

And starts for the ocean.

He is an object of beauty and I stand watching him

Till at last he fades on the horizon,

And someone at my side says:

“He is gone”

“Gone where?”

Gone from my sight, that is all;

He is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as he was when I saw him,

And just as able to bear his load of living freight to its destination.

The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not him;

And just at the moment when someone at my side says;

“He’s gone”

There are others watching him coming

And other voices take up the glad shout,

“Here he comes”

And that is dying.

A Prayer - Anonymous

The death of someone we love and care about…

is like the death of part of us.

No one else will ever call out from within us

quite the same responses, the same feelings or actions or ideas.

Their death is an ending of one part of the story.

Lord as we look back over … life

We ask what we have received, what we can appropriate

and continue on in our own lives and what must be laid to rest.

Our love for her reminds us that our sharing

in one another’s lives brings both support and pain.

Our being parted from her reminds us of our own mortality

and that your love is enduring.

We thank you that our love for … draws us together

and gives us a new appreciation of one another

and of the beauty and fragility of relationships

which mirror your grace and goodness to us.

Lord, time’s tide may wash her footprints from the shore,

but not our love for her nor the influence of her life upon our own.

Nor the ways in which they will ever be a sign for us

Of those things which really matter — which are eternal.

Hear this prayer for your love’s sake.


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 to home.

Twilight and evening bell,

And after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,

When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place

The flood that may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilots face

When I have crossed the bar.

Do not go gentle into that good night - Dylan Thomas, 1914-1953

Sunset and evening star,

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 not 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 the 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.

Living Bouquets - Mabel Easley

When I quit this mortal shore…

And mosey ’round this earth no more,

do not weep and do not sob;

I may have found a better job.

Don’t go and buy a large bouquet

for which you’ll find it hard to pay,

don’t mope around and feel all blue;

I may be better off than you.

Don’t tell the folks I was a saint

or any old thing that I ain’t.

If you have jam like that to spread,

Please hand it out before I’m dead/

If you have roses bless your soul,

just pin one in my buttonhole,

while I’m alive and well today;

Don’t wait until I’m gone away.

Desiderata - Max Ehrman

Go placidly amid the noise and haste…

And remember what peace there may be in silence.

be yourself,

Especially do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love,

for in the face of all aridity and disappointment

it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune,

but do not distress yourself with imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars.

You have a right to be here.

And whether it is clear to you or not,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,

And whatever your labours and aspirations

in the noisy confusion of life,

keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham and drudgery and broken dreams

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Good Timber

The man who never had to toil,

who never had to win his share

of sun and sky and light and air.

Never became a manly man

but lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow in ease;

the stronger the wind, the tougher the trees;

the farther the sky, the greater the length;

the more the storm, the more the strength;

By sun and cold, by rain and snows,

in tree and man, good timber grows.

Death is nothing at all - Canon Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918), Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral

Death is nothing at all…

I have just slipped away 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 way 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 forever the household word it always was.

Let it be spoken without an effort,

without the ghost of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant;

It is the same as it always way;

There is absolutely 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.

For what is it to die? - Kahil Gibram

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 reach the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

The Beauty of Death (Part Two – Ascending) - Kahil Gibram

I have passed a mountain peak and my soul is soaring in the…

Firmament of complete and unbound freedom;

I am far, far away, my companions, and the clouds are

hiding the hills from eyes.

The valleys are becoming flooded with an ocean of silence and the

hands of oblivion are engulfing the roads and the houses;

The prairies and fields are disappearing behind a white spectre

that looks like the spring cloud, yellow as the candlelight

And red as the twilight.

The songs of the waves and the humans of the streams

are scattered, and the voices of the throngs reduced to silence;

And I can hear naught but the music of Eternity

In exact harmony with the spirit’s desires.

I am cloaked in full whiteness;

I am in comfort; I am in peace.

If you should forget me for a while - Christina Rossetti

If you should forget me for a while,

And afterwards remember, do not grieve,

for if the darkness and the shadows

leave a vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

better by far that you should forget and smile,

than you should remember and be sad.

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 you head bowed 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.

When you are lonely and sick of heart,

go to the friends we know

And bury your sorrow in doing good deeds.

Miss me ~ but let me go.

One at rest

Think of me as one at rest,

for me you should not weep.

I have no pain or no troubled thoughts

for I am just asleep.

The living think me that was,

is now forever still.

And life goes on without me now,

as time forever will.

If your heart is heavy now,

as time forever will.

If your heart is heavy now

because I’ve gone away

dwell not long upon it friend

for none of us can stay.

Those of you who liked me,

I sincerely thank you all

and those of you who loved me,

I thank you most of all.

And in my fleeting lifespan,

as time went rushing by

I found some time to hesitate,

To laugh, to love, to cry.

Matters it now if time began?

If time will ever cease?

I was here, I used it all

And now I am at peace.

Let me die working

Let me die working,

still tackling plans unfinished, tasks undone!

Clean to its end, swift may my race be run.

No laggard steps, no faltering, no shirking;

Let me die working.

Let me die working,

let me fare forth still with an open mind,

fresh secrets to unfold, new truths to find.

My soul undimmed, alert, no question blinking;

Let me die thinking.

Let me die giving,

The substance of life, for life’s enriching;

Time, things and self on heaven converging,

no selfish thought, love redeeming, living;

Let me die giving.

May the roads rise up to meet you - Traditional Gaelic blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

May the rains fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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 we 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.

High Flight - Fl. Officer John Gillespie McGee, 1922-1941

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. Hovering 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 windswept heights with easy grace,

where never lark nor even 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.

Death be not proud - John Donne, 1572-1631

Death, be not proud, though some have called Thee…

might and dreadful, for thou art not so;

For those whom thou think’st thou dost over throw

Die not, poor Death, nor yet can’st thou kill me.

From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,

much pleasure – then, from Thee much more must flow;

And soonest our best men with thee do go,

Rest of their bones and soul’s delivery.

Thou’rt slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate men,

And dost with poison, war and sickness dwell;

And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well,

And better than thy stroke. Why swell’st thou then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,

And death shall be no more. Death thou shalt die.

If I should go before the rest you - Joyce Grenfell

If I should go before the rest of you,

break not a flower, nor inscribe a stone

nor when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice.

But be the usual selves that I have known

Weep if you must, parting is hell

but life goes on, so sing as well.


If I should go tomorrow…

it would never be goodbye

for I have left my heart with you,

so don’t you ever cry.

The love that’s deep within me,

shall reach you for the stars,

You’ll feel it from the heavens,

and it will heal the scars.

A child loaned - Edgar A Guest

“I’ll lend you for a little time…

A child of Mine” He said.

“For you to love the while he lives

And mourn for when he’s dead.

It may be six or seven years

or twenty two or three,

but will you, till I call him back,

take care of him for Me?

He’ll bring his charms to gladden you

And should his stay be brief,

You’ll have his lovely memories

as solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay

since all from Earth return,

but there are lessons taught down there

I want the child to learn.

I’ve looked this wide world over

in my search for teacher’s true,

And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes,

I have selected you;

Now will you give him all your love,

nor think the labour vain

nor hate Me when I come to call

And take him back again?

I fancied that I heard them say,

“Dear Lord, Thy will be done,

for all the joy Thy child shall bring,

for the risk of grief we’ll run.

We’ll shelter him with tenderness,

we’ll love him while we may,

And for the happiness we’ve known,

forever grateful stay.

But should the angels call for him

much sooner than we planned,

we’ll brave the bitter grief that comes

And try to understand”.

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