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Poetry of Death

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

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.

Mary Elizabeth Frye


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.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

When I'm Gone

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.

Lyman Hancock

The Recording of a Cemetery 

Today we walked where others walked 
On a lonely, windswept hill; 
Today we talked where other cried 
For Loved Ones whose lives are stilled.

Today our hearts were touched 
By graves of tiny babies; 
Snatched from the arms of loving kin, 
In the heartbreak of the ages.

Today we saw where the grandparents lay 
In the last sleep of their time; 
Lying under the trees and clouds - 
Their beds kissed by the sun and wind.

Today we wondered about an unmarked spot; 
Who lies beneath this hollowed ground? 
Was it a babe, child, young or old? 
No indication could be found.

Today we saw where Mom and Dad lay. 
We had been here once before 
On a day we'd all like to forget, 
But will remember forever more.

Today we recorded for kith and kin 
The graves of ancestors past; 
To be preserved for generations hence, 
A record we hope will last.

Cherish it, my friend; preserve it, my friend, 
For stones sometimes crumble to dust 
And generations of folks yet to come 
Will be grateful for your trust.




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