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Inspirational Poems About Death

Table of Contents

  1. Crossing the Bar by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  2. I'm Free by Anonymous
  3. Miss Me But Let Me Go by Anonymous
  4. Life Is But a Stopping Place by Anonymous
  5. Death by Benjamin Hine
  6. Even Such is Time by Sir Walter Raleigh
  7. The Climax by Anonymous
  8. If Only by Anonymous
  9. Feel no guilt in laughter, he'd know how much you care by Anonymous
  10. Away by James Whitcomb Riley
  11. Crossing Over by Anonymous
  12. Joy in Death by Emily Dickinson
  13. God's Garden by Anonymous
  14. Rest by ENS
  15. When Death Has Lost the Key by Kenneth Slade Alling
  16. A death-blow is a life-blow to some by Emily Dickinson
  1. Rest by Charlotte Mason
  2. Calm on the Bosom of our God by Felicia Dorothea Hemans
  3. The Departure by Hannah Flagg Gould
  4. "He Giveth His Beloved Sleep" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  5. To the Mourner by Hannah Flagg Gould
  6. As Weary Pilgrim Now at Rest by Anne Bradstreet
  7. I Am Always With You by Anonymous
  8. A Song of Living by Amelia Burr
  9. Death is Nothing At All by Henry Scott Holland
  10. There Is No Death by Anonymous
  11. They that love beyond the world by William Penn
  12. Death Be Not Proud by John Donne
  13. I thank thee God, that I have lived by Elizabeth Craven
  14. The Death of the Righteous by Lydia Sigourney
  15. Dream Land by Christina Rossetti
  16. Picking Berries That Day by Annie Armstrong
  17. To The Honourable T. H. Esq; On The Death Of His Daughter by Phillis Wheatley
  18. The Choir Invisible by George Eliot
  19. Many Weep by Gigi Ryan
  20. A Wish by Frances Anne Kemble
  21. Farewell by Frances Anne Kemble
  22. The Reapers and the Flowers by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  23. Waiting by Millie Colcord

  1. Crossing the Bar

    by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

    Sunset and evening star,
    And one clear call for me!
    And may there be no moaning of the bar,
    When I put out to sea,

    But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
    Too full for sound and foam,
    When that which drew from out the boundless deep
    Turns again home.

    Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
    And may there be no sadness 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.

  2. I'm Free

    by Anonymous

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

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

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

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

    Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
    Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
    Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
    God wanted me now; He set me free.

  3. Miss Me But Let Me Go

    by Anonymous

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

    Miss me a little—but not too long
    And not with your head 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 sorrows in serving our Lord.
    Miss me—but let me go.

  4. Life Is But a Stopping Place

    by Anonymous

    Life is but a stopping place,
    A pause in what's to be,
    A resting place along the road,
    to sweet eternity.

    We all have different journeys,
    Different paths along the way,
    We all were meant to learn some things,
    but never meant to stay...

    Our destination is a place,
    Far greater than we know.
    For some the journey's quicker,
    For some the journey's slow.

    And when the journey finally ends,
    We'll claim a great reward,
    And find an everlasting peace,
    Together with the Lord.

  5. Death

    by Benjamin Hine

    And what is death? the end of being here,—
    A sweet exemption from life's toil and care,
    The end of all anxiety and pain,
    A world exchanged for Heaven; 'tis endless gain
    To the just,—

  6. Even Such is Time

    by Sir Walter Raleigh

    Even such is Time, that takes in trust
    Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
    And pays us but with earth and dust;
    Who in the dark and silent grave
    When we have wandered all our ways,
    Shuts up the story of our days;
    But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
    My God shall raise me up, I trust.

  7. The Climax

    by Anonymous

    Dear friend, by favoring fortune richly led,
    Your life a long experience of peace,
    Dread not the day when these delights will cease
    And you will rest among the silent dead.
    By this glad confidence he comforted,
    That life's excelling joy is life's release.
    That fortune grows as earthly goods decrease.
    And from the bowl of death true life is fed
    By this one loss all gains are stoutly made
    By this adventure certainty is found:
    Did ever merchant make a better trade?
    Did ever voyager find richer ground?
    At death's dark door nor doubting nor dismayed,
    Superbly win all profits at a bound!

  8. If Only

    by Anonymous

    If only we could see the splendour of the land
    To which our loved ones are called from you and me
    We'd understand
    If only we could hear the welcome they receive
    From old familiar voices all so dear
    We would not grieve
    If only we could know the reason why they went
    We'd smile and wipe away the tears that flow
    And wait content.

  9. Feel no guilt in laughter

    by Anonymous

    Feel no guilt in laughter, he'd know how much you care.
    Feel no sorrow in a smile that he is not here to share.
    You cannot grieve forever; he would not want you to.
    He'd hope that you could carry on the way you always do.
    So, talk about the good times and the way you showed you cared,
    The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared.
    Let memories surround you, a word someone may say
    Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day,
    That brings him back as clearly as though he were still here,
    And fills you with the feeling that he is always near.
    For if you keep those moments, you will never be apart
    And he will live forever locked safely within your heart.

  10. Away

    by James Whitcomb Riley

    I cannot say and I will not say
    That she is dead, she is just away.
    With a cheery smile and a wave of hand
    She has wandered into an unknown land;
    And left us dreaming how very fair
    Its needs must be, since she lingers there.

    And you-oh you, who the wildest yearn
    From the old-time step and the glad return-
    Think of her faring on, as dear
    In the love of there, as the love of here
    Think of her still the same way, I say;
    She is not dead, she is just away.

  11. Crossing Over

    by Anonymous

    Oh, please don't feel guilty
    It was just my time to go.
    I see you are still feeling sad,
    And the tears just seem to flow.
    We all come to earth for our lifetime,
    And for some it's not many years
    I don't want you to keep crying
    You are shedding so many tears.

    I haven't really left you
    Even though it may seem so.
    I have just gone to my heavenly home,
    And I'm closer to you than you know.
    Just believe that when you say
    my name, I'm standing next to you,
    I know you long to see me,
    But there's nothing I can do.
    But I'll still send you messages
    And hope you understand,
    That when your time comes to
    “cross over,” I'll be there
    to take your hand.

  12. Joy in Death

    by Emily Dickinson

    If tolling bell I ask the cause.
    'A soul has gone to God,'
    I'm answered in a lonesome tone;
    Is heaven then so sad?

    That bells should joyful ring to tell
    A soul had gone to heaven,
    Would seem to me the proper way
    A good news should be given.

  13. God's Garden

    by Anonymous

    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.
    God’s garden must be beautiful
    He always takes the best.

    He knew that you were suffering
    He knew you were in pain.
    He knew that you would never
    Get well on earth again.
    He saw the road was getting rough
    And the hills were hard to climb.
    So he closed your weary eyelids
    And whispered, ‘Peace bethine’.
    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.

  14. Rest

    by ENS

    Welcome, thrice welcome to my aching head,
    This soothing pillow, and this downy bed;
    Here the preceding day with all its cares,
    Lie hushed to rest with all its hopes and fears.
    Oh! may I ever find a place of rest,
    Whene'er my soul is wearied and oppress'd;
    May I relinquish every anxious thought,
    And trust on Him who has my ransom bought.
    And when at last the solemn hour draws nigh,
    When all on earth recedes before mine eye;
    May I the grave's cold pillow calmly press,
    And hail it as the entrance into bliss.

  15. When Death Has Lost the Key

    by Kenneth Slade Alling

    When all my limbs are locked,
    And death has lost the key;
    When I am but the dream
    Of some dead ecstasy;
    I will not ever wage
    Old quarrels with myself:
    Or seek to read the books
    Upon life's dusty shelf.

    But I shall always hear
    The tread of April's feet,
    Stirring the earth to song:
    And feel the flaming beat
    Of earth's heart, near and near,
    Finding her heart at last:
    And dreams will come to me
    And hours forever past.

    Only the happy hours,
    Melodiously again,
    And April dreams will come
    Leading the April rain;
    When all my limbs are locked,
    And death has lost the key,
    And I myself the dream
    Of some dead ecstasy.

  16. A death-blow is a life-blow to some

    by Emily Dickinson

    A death-blow is a life-blow to some
    Who, till they died, did not alive become;
    Who, had they lived, had died, but when
    They died, vitality begun.

  17. Rest

    by Charlotte Mason

    A rest remaineth; is then rest so good?
    The hope of weariness, a promise sweet
    To labouring souls, but wherefore rest in Heaven?

    Deeper than any thought of man,
    Sweeter than any dream of man,
    Fuller than any hope of man,
    To conceive which hath not entered
    Into any heart of man.

    As the sunny air to the life of a bird,
    As the fair sea to the way of a ship,
    As brooding sleep to the life of a babe,
    So the infinite, unutterable rest of God
    To those blest souls that are upborne thereon.

    The rest we plan,
    Wherein to lay us down when labours end,
    Is other in its kind : feelings, thoughts,
    In burdens left behind, and chief of all,
    In the dear face of God, we place our rest.

    But rest, the pure element,
    As God hath made, as He hath made the air,
    Encompassing, conditionless and free,
    That each blest life, unconscious, lives within,
    This enters not our thought.

    Once in a life, perhaps (nor then to all!)—
    When in extreme strait a hopeless soul
    Lies down beneath its burden - heaven's gate opes
    And that soul for one supernal moment
    Is taken in and steeped and bathed in rest.

    Thus was it once:
    A feeble body and a brain o'er fraught
    With many thoughts and cares; a desolate heart,
    Brooding o'er empty places in the earth
    Not to be filled again. Life was too much:
    The fainting body and more languid soul
    Made plaint, for voice too feeble, Lord how long?

    And then it came,
    The revelation of the infinite
    Eternal rest of God.
    It came : but how to tell of it! —
    As well give features and a form
    To sunshine hallow'd 'neath the charm
    That quiets summer sabbaths.

    It came, but not with words, too worn the heart
    For any sound of words, tho' words of life:
    With the sweet comprehending of a touch
    That knew and pitied and was strong to help,
    E'en so came quieting from the hand of God:
    And the heart lay still
    And ceased from itself:
    Nor purpose, prayer, nor penitence was there,
    Not praise nor love found place, but a great rest.

    A rest that steeped that soul and bore it up
    And circled it and shadow'd; only rest:
    Not knowing, having, being, aught:
    Yet life nor love had ever after brought
    So full a draught.

    And as that soul lay still,
    For hours perhaps, or moments - lo there came
    A writing on the wall of its hid room;
    The words appeared - As one is comforted,
    Whom comforteth his mother! So, for aye,
    That soul doth wot of one good thing prepared
    Of God for them that love Him.

  18. Calm on the Bosom of our God

    by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

    Calm on the bosom of our God,
    Fair spirit, rest thee now!
    E'en while with us thy footsteps trod,
    His seal was on thy brow.

    Dust to its narrow house beneath!
    Soul to its place on high!
    They that have seen thy look in death
    No more may fear to die.

  19. The Departure

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    See the sun at close of day,
    Calmly gliding down the west;
    Mark the soft and fading ray,
    Lingering, to denote the way
    Where he sinks to rest!

    So, in peace, her spirit fled,
    Bright amid the shades of death;
    And around her dying bed,
    Mild and heavenly radiance shed
    At the parting breath.

    When from earthly pain and grief,
    From the world's deceit and sin,
    Full of hope, she sought relief,
    Full of days, a golden sheaf,
    She was gathered in.

    She had fought the goodly fight;
    She her Father's will had done;
    Till her raven locks were white,
    Long, to wear a crown of light,
    She the race had run.

    Then, are sighs and tears for me?
    Shall this aching heart repine,
    Mourning still, dear friend, for thee?
    Or its better purpose be
    Life and death like thine?

  20. "He Giveth His Beloved Sleep"

    by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. "He Giveth his Beloved Sleep" is one of the most beautiful of Browning's minor poems. The thought is an amplification of verse 2d of Psalm cxxvii.

    Of all the thoughts of God that are
    Borne inward unto souls afar,
    Along the Psalmist's music deep,
    Now tell me if that any is,
    For gift or grace, surpassing this,—
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep!"

    What would we give to our beloved?
    The hero's heart to be unmoved,
    The poet's star-tuned harp, to sweep,
    The patriot's voice, to teach and rouse,
    The monarch's crown, to light the brows?—
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep."

    What do we give to our beloved?
    A little faith all undisproved,
    A little dust to overweep,
    And bitter memories to make
    The whole earth blasted for our sake,—
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep."

    "Sleep soft, beloved!" we sometimes say,
    But have no tune to charm away
    Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep.
    But never doleful dream again
    Shall break his happy slumber when
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep."

    O earth, so full of dreary noises!
    O men, with wailing in your voices!
    O delve'd gold, the wailers heap!
    O strife, O curse, that o'er it fall!
    God strikes a silence through you all,
    And "giveth his beloved, sleep."

    His dews drop mutely on the hill;
    His cloud above it saileth still,
    Though on its slope men sow and reap.
    More softly than the dew is shed,
    Or cloud is floated overhead,
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep."

    Ay, men may wonder while they scan
    A living, thinking, feeing man,
    Confirmed in such a rest to keep;
    But angels say—and through the word
    I think their happy smile is heard—
    "He giveth his beloved, sleep."

    For me my heart, that erst did go
    Most like a tired child at a show,
    That sees through tears the mummers leap,
    Would now its wearied vision close,
    Would childlike on his love repose
    Who "giveth his beloved, sleep."

    And friends, dear friends,—when it shall be
    That this low breath is gone from me,
    And round my bier ye come to weep,
    Let one most loving of you all
    Say, "Not a tear must o'er her fall;
    'He giveth his beloved, sleep.'"

  21. To the Mourner

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    We would not check the starting tear,
    Nor bid thee cease to mourn
    The friend thy bosom held most dear
    So early from thee torn;
    For, when in death a loved one slept,
    Among the sorrowing, "Jesus wept!"

    But has not Jesus passed the tomb,
    To break its bars away?
    And, darting through its fearful gloom
    The beams of endless day,
    Does he not, from the other side,
    Bid none to fear, since he has died.

    And, mourner, will not sighing cease,
    When thou canst look above,
    And feel that, from a world of peace,
    Thou hast an angel's love?
    That she is safe, where none may fear
    Death, pain, or change that wound us here?

    When he, who wept at human wo,
    Shall in the clouds appear,
    Awaking millions then shall know,
    To those who owned him here,
    He is the resurrection!—he,
    Life, light and immortality!

  22. As Weary Pilgrim Now at Rest

    by Anne Bradstreet, August, 1669

    As weary pilgrim now at rest,
    Hugs with delight his silent nest
    His wasted limbes now lye full soft
    That myrie steps have trodden oft.
    Blesses himself to think upon
    his dangers past, and travails done.
    The burning sun no more shall heat
    Nor stormy raines on him shall beat.

    The bryars and thornes no more shall scratch,
    nor hungry wolves at him shall catch
    He erring pathes no more shall tread
    nor wilde fruits eate, instead of bread
    for waters cold he doth not long
    for thirst no more shall parch his tongue.
    No rugged stones his feet shall gaule,
    nor stumps nor rocks cause him to fall.
    All cares and feares, he bids farewell
    and meanes in safity now to dwell.
    A pilgrim I, on earth, perplext,
    Wth sinns wth cares and sorrovys vext
    By age and paines brought to decay.
    And my Clay house mouldring away
    Oh how I long to be at rest
    and soare on high among the blesst.
    This body shall in silence sleep
    Mine eyes no more shall ever weep
    No fainting fits shall me assaile
    nor grinding paines my body fraile
    Wth cares and fears n'er cumbred be
    Nor losses know, nor sorrows see
    What tho my flesh shall there consume
    it is the bed Christ did perfume
    And when a few yeares shall be gone
    this mortall shall be cloth'd upon
    A corrupt Carcasse downe it lyes
    A glorious body it shall rise
    In weakness and dishonour sowne
    in power 'tis rais'd by Christ alone
    When soule and body shall unite
    and of their maker have the sight
    Such lasting joyes shall there behold
    as care ne'r heard nor tongue e'er told
    Lord make me ready for that day
    then Come dear bridegrome, Come away.

  23. I Am Always With You

    by Anonymous

    I am always with you
    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
    That 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".

  24. A Song of Living

    by Amelia 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 cheeks like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.
    Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

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

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

  25. Death is Nothing At All

    by Henry Scott Holland

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

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

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

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

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

    All is well.

    Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and
    all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier
    and forever we will all be one together with Christ.

  26. There Is No Death

    by Anonymous

    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.

  27. 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.

  28. Death Be Not Proud

    by John Donne

    Death be not proud, though some have called thee
    Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
    For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
    Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
    From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
    Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
    And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
    Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
    Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
    And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
    And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
    And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
    One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
    And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

  29. I thank thee God, that I have lived

    by Elizabeth Craven

    I thank thee God, that I have lived
    In this great world and known its many joys:
    The songs of birds, the strongest sweet scent of hay,
    And cooling breezes in the secret dusk;
    The flaming sunsets at the close of day,
    Hills and the lovely, heather-covered moors;
    Music at night, and the moonlight on the sea,
    The beat of waves upon the rocky shore
    And wild white spray, flung high in ecstasy;
    The faithful eyes of dogs, and treasured books,
    The love of Kin and fellowship of friends
    And all that makes life dear and beautiful.

    I thank Thee too, that there has come to me
    A little sorrow and sometimes defeat,
    A little heartache and the loneliness
    That comes with parting and the words 'Good-bye';
    Dawn breaking after weary hours of pain,
    When I discovered that night's gloom must yield
    And morning light break through to me again.
    Because of these and other blessings poured
    Unasked upon my wondering head,
    Because I know that there is yet to come
    An even richer and more glorious life,
    And most of all, because Thine only Son
    Once sacrificed life's loveliness for me,
    I thank Thee, God, that I have lived.

    So, when a great man dies,
    For years beyond our ken,
    The light he leaves behind him lies
    Upon the paths of men.

    – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Charles Sumner
  30. The Death of the Righteous

    by Lydia Sigourney

    I look'd upon the righteous man,
    And saw his parting breath,
    Without a struggle or a sigh
    Yield peacefully to Death,
    There was no anguish on his brow,
    No terror in his eye,
    The Spoiler launch'd a fatal dart,
    But lost the victory.

    I look'd upon the righteous man,
    And heard the holy prayer
    Which rose above that breathless clay
    To soothe the mourner's care,
    And felt how precious was the gift,
    He to his dear ones gave,
    The stainless memory of the just,
    The wealth beyond the grave.

    I look'd upon the righteous man,
    And all our earthly trust,
    Its pleasure—vanity, and pride,
    Seem'd lighter than the dust,
    Compar'd with his eternal gain,
    A home above the sky!—
    O grant us, Lord, his life to live,
    That we his death may die.

  31. Dream-land

    by Christina Rossetti

    Where sunless rivers weep
    Their waves into the deep,
    She sleeps a charmèd sleep:
    Awake her not.
    Led by a single star,
    She came from very far
    To seek where shadows are
    Her pleasant lot.

    She left the rosy morn,
    She left the fields of corn,
    For twilight cold and lorn
    And water springs.
    Through sleep, as through a veil,
    She sees the sky look pale,
    And hears the nightingale
    That sadly sings.

    Rest, rest, a perfect rest
    Shed over brow and breast;
    Her face is toward the west,
    The purple land.
    She cannot see the grain
    Ripening on hill and plain;
    She cannot feel the rain
    Upon her hand.

    Rest, rest, forevermore
    Upon a mossy shore;
    Rest, rest at the heart's core
    Till time shall cease:
    Sleep that no pain shall wake,
    Night that no morn shall break,
    Till joy shall overtake
    Her perfect peace.

  32. Picking Berries That Day

    by Annie Armstrong

    A midsummer morning, a gentle breeze
    Lazily moving the boughs of trees,
    A sweetbrier scented way;
    Tall grasses losing their gems of dew,
    With golden sunbeams shimmering through;
    A group of children where wild woods grew,
    Picking berries that day.

    We were four in all, and May, our pet,
    Whose years scarce numbered five summers yet,
    Laughing in happy play,
    Herself the fairest blossom that grew,
    Was gathering flowers of every hue,
    And decking herself, and Clarence, and Lou,
    Picking berries that day.

    Beneath the shade of a spreading oak,
    Clarence, the eldest, thoughtfully spoke,
    With eyes fixed far away,—
    "I wonder who"—and just then the fall
    Of a stone was heard from the mossy wall—
    "Will have the happiest life of all,
    Picking berries to-day?"

    "Why, me!" cried dear little May; with a start,
    I cried, as I pressed her to my heart,
    "Darling, I hope you may."
    How could I see that flowers would wave
    Over the mound of a little grave?
    As the baby voice that answer gave,
    Picking berries that day!

    Sweet baby eyes of azure blue.
    Ye are heavenly now! Your words were true,
    Dear little Angel May;
    Yours is indeed the happiest fate—
    To have is sweeter by far than to wait.
    More blessed are ye in your heavenly state
    Than when picking berries that day.

  33. To The Honourable T. H. Esq; On The Death Of His Daughter

    by Phillis Wheatley

    While deep you mourn beneath the cypress-shade
    The hand of Death, and your dear daughter laid
    In dust, whose absence gives your tears to flow,
    And racks your bosom with incessant woe,
    Let Recollection take a tender part,
    Assuage the raging tortures of your heart,
    Still the wild tempest of tumultuous grief,
    And pour the heav'nly nectar of relief:
    Suspend the sigh, dear Sir, and check the groan,
    Divinely bright your daughter's Virtues shone:
    How free from scornful pride her gentle mind,
    Which ne'er its aid to indigence declin'd!
    Expanding free, it sought the means to prove
    Unfailing charity, unbounded love!

    She unreluctant flies to see no more
    Her dear-lov'd parents on earth's dusky shore:
    Impatient heav'n's resplendent goal to gain,
    She with swift progress cuts the azure plain,
    Where grief subsides, where changes are no more,
    And life's tumultuous billows cease to roar;
    She leaves her earthly mansion for the skies,
    Where new creations feast her wond'ring eyes.

    To heav'n's high mandate chearfully resign'd
    She mounts, and leaves the rolling globe behind;
    She, who late wish'd that Leonard might return,
    Has ceas'd to languish, and forgot to mourn;
    To the same high empyreal mansions come,
    She joins her spouse, and smiles upon the tomb:
    And thus I hear her from the realms above:
    "Lo! this the kingdom of celestial love!
    Could ye, fond parents, see our present bliss,
    How soon would you each sigh, each fear dismiss?
    Amidst unutter'd pleasures whilst I play
    In the fair sunshine of celestial day,
    As far as grief affects an happy soul
    So far doth grief my better mind controul,
    To see on earth my aged parents mourn,
    And secret wish for T — l to return:
    Let brighter scenes your ev'ning-hours employ:
    Converse with heav'n, and taste the promis'd joy."

  34. The Choir Invisible

    by George Eliot

    O may I join the choir invisible
    Of those immortal dead who live again
    In minds made better by their presence: live
    In pulses stirr’d to generosity,
    In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
    For miserable aims that end with self,
    In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
    And with their mild persistence urge man’s search
    To vaster issues.
    So to live is heaven:
    To make undying music in the world,
    Breathing as beauteous order that controls
    With growing sway the growing life of man.
    So we inherit that sweet purity
    For which we struggled, fail’d, and agoniz’d
    With widening retrospect that bred despair.
    Rebellious flesh that would not be subdued,
    A vicious parent shaming still its child,
    Poor anxious penitence, is quick dissolv’d;
    Its discords, quench’d by meeting harmonies,
    Die in the large and charitable air.
    And all our rarer, better, truer self,
    That sobb’d religiously in yearning song,
    That watch’d to ease the burthen of the world,
    Laboriously tracing what must be,
    And what may yet be better,—saw within
    A worthier image for the sanctuary,
    And shap’d it forth before the multitude,
    Divinely human, raising worship so
    To higher reverence more mix’d with love,— That better self shall live till human Time
    Shall fold its eyelids, and the human sky
    Be gather’d like a scroll within the tomb Unread forever.
    This is life to come,
    Which martyr’d men have made more glorious
    For us who strive to follow. May I reach
    That purest heaven, be to other souls
    The cup of strength in some great agony,
    Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
    Beget the smiles that have no cruelty,
    Be the sweet presence of a good diffus’d,
    And in diffusion ever more intense!
    So shall I join the choir invisible
    Whose music is the gladness of the world

  35. Many Weep

    by Gigi Ryan

    My Father God, in Heaven great,
    We remembrance keep
    Of fathers You have given us;
    Today, though, many weep.

    Countless tears right now are shed
    For fathers in the grave.
    Some the dirt atop still fresh
    When life this week upgave.

    Others in mind of fathers whom
    Abandoned years ago.
    Children who are missing them;
    Their longing won’t let go.

    Some have fathers who have failed
    And brought unmeasured pain.
    But their children love them still,
    And love is ne’er in vain.

    Then I think of men whose child
    Left the fold of sheep.
    These fathers’ hearts afflicted yet;
    With prayer, they vigil keep.

    What about the man who wants
    To loving father be,
    And share his overflowing heart
    With one upon his knee?

    Fatherhood has broken been
    And touched on earth by curse;
    But God His work continues still;
    All will in time reverse.

    On this day of joy and pain,
    Hope is not all lost.
    God in heaven holds the tears
    Of those in suffering tossed.

    Saints who ache for father love
    Have One who fills their cup;
    A Father faithful, kind and wise,
    With love that won’t give up.

    My Father God, in Heaven great,
    Who His children keep
    Hold tightly those today who mourn,
    For Lord, so many weep.

  36. A Wish

    by Frances Anne Kemble

    Let me not die for ever! when I'm gone
    To the cold earth; but let my memory
    Live like the gorgeous western light that shone
    Over the clouds where sank day's majesty.
    Let me not be forgotten! though the grave
    Has clasped its hideous arms around my brow.
    Let me not be forgotten! though the wave
    Of time's dark current rolls above me now.
    Yet not in tears remembered be my name;
    Weep over those ye loved; for me, for me,
    Give me the wreath of glory, and let fame
    Over my tomb spread immortality!

  37. Farewell

    by Frances Anne Kemble

    I shall come no more to the Cedar Hall,
    The fairies' palace, beside the stream;
    Where the yellow sun rays at morning fall
    Through their tresses dark, with a mellow gleam.

    I shall tread no more the thick dewy lawn,
    When the young moon hangs on the brow of night,
    Nor see the morning, at early dawn,
    Shake the fading stars from her robes of light.

    I shall fly no more on my fiery steed,
    O'er the springing sward,—through the twilight wood;
    Nor rein my courser, and check my speed,
    By the lonely grange, and the haunted flood.

    At fragrant noon, I shall lie no more
    'Neath the oak's broad shade, in the leafy dell:
    The sun is set,—the day is o'er,—
    The summer is past;—farewell!—farewell

  38. The Reaper and the Flowers

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
    And, with his sickle keen,
    He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
    And the flowers that grow between.

    "Shall I have naught that is fair?" saith he;
    "Have naught but the bearded grain?
    Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
    I will give them all back again."

    He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
    He kissed their drooping leaves;
    It was for the Lord of Paradise
    He bound them in his sheaves.

    "My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,"
    The Reaper said, and smiled;
    "Dear tokens of the earth are they,
    Where He was once a child.

    "They shall all bloom in fields of light,
    Transplanted by my care,
    And saints, upon their garments white,
    These sacred blossoms wear."

    And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
    The flowers she most did love;
    She knew she should find them all again
    In the fields of light above.

    Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
    The Reaper came that day;
    'T was an angel visited the green earth,
    And took the flowers away.

  39. Waiting

    by Millie Colcord

    Where the white cliffs throw their slanting shadows
    And the waves roll in with dash and roar,
    Still and patient, in the sunset glory,
    Sits an old man on the rocky shore.

    At his feet the children cluster gaily,
    Looking outward, far across the bay,—
    Tell of wondrous ships upon the ocean,
    Ships that they shall proudly own some day.

    "Tell us," cry the children's eager voices,
    "Tell us, have you any ships at sea?
    Will they bring you, some day, sailing homeward,
    Gems and riches, always yours to be?"

    Then the old man answers very softly,
    "There is one for which I daily wait;
    Though the rest have foundered with their fortunes,
    This one ship will come, however late.

    "She will bring to me no earthly treasure,
    Nothing that shall make me richer here;
    But will take me to a fairer country,
    And each night I pray she may be near."

    He is silent,—eager wait the children,
    Looking upward, with a grave surprise,
    Till the old man's eyes, grown dim with watching,
    Turn once more toward the sunset skies.

    People passing homeward from their labor,
    Pause upon the shore and pity him;
    "Ah! they do not know," the children whisper,
    "He is waiting till his ship comes in."

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