FUNERAL POEMS

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This Is A Blossom Of The Brain

945

This is a Blossom of the Brain—
A small—italic Seed
.....

Emily Dickinson
A Befitting Send-off

Brothers, carry out the autopsy gently
That corpse was a rich man's residence
The carcass was never an ordinary body
To be hacked and dug upon
.....

Michael Aete
The Old Burying-ground

Our vales are sweet with fern and rose,
Our hills are maple-crowned;
But not from them our fathers chose
The village burying-ground.
.....

John Greenleaf Whittier
To Think Of Time

To think of time, of all that retrospection!
To think of to-day, and the ages continued henceforward!

Have you guess'd you yourself would not continue?
.....

Walt Whitman
The Child Of The Islands - Winter

I.

ERE the Night cometh! On how many graves
Rests, at this hour, their first cold winter's snow!
.....

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton
To Live Merrily, And To Trust To Good Verses

Now is the time for mirth,
Nor cheek or tongue be dumb;
For with the flow'ry earth
The golden pomp is come.
.....

Robert Herrick
Night Funeral In Harlem

Night funeral
In Harlem:

Where did they get
.....

Langston Hughes
The Swan

I'll leave the mortal world behind,
Take wing in an flight fantastical,
With singing, my eternal soul
Will rise up swan-like in the air.
.....

Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin
An Introduction

I don't know politics but I know the names
Of those in power, and can repeat them like
Days of week, or names of months, beginning with Nehru.
I amIndian, very brown, born inMalabar,
.....

Kamala Das
The Iliad: Book 23

Thus did they make their moan throughout the city, while the
Achaeans when they reached the Hellespont went back every man to his
own ship. But Achilles would not let the Myrmidons go, and spoke to
his brave comrades saying, “Myrmidons, famed horsemen and my own
.....

Homer
Terence Macswiney

See, though the oil be low more purely still and higher
The flame burns in the body's lamp! The watchers still
Gaze with unseeing eyes while the Promethean Will,
The Uncreated Light, the Everlasting Fire
.....

‘æ,' George William Russell
Place For A Third

Nothing to say to all those marriages!
She had made three herself to three of his.
The score was even for them, three to three.
But come to die she found she cared so much:
.....

Robert Frost
Power

The mighty sound of forests murmuring
In answer to the dread command;
The stars that shudder when their king
extends his hand,
.....

Aleister Crowley
Victory

I.
Before those golden altar-lights we stood,
Each one of us remembering his own dead.
A more than earthly beauty seemed to brood
.....

Alfred Noyes
Endymion: Book Iii

There are who lord it o'er their fellow-men
With most prevailing tinsel: who unpen
Their baaing vanities, to browse away
The comfortable green and juicy hay
.....

John Keats
After Hearing A Waltz By Bartok

But why did I kill him? Why? Why?
In the small, gilded room, near the stair?
My ears rack and throb with his cry,
And his eyes goggle under his hair,
.....

Amy Lowell
The Leveller

Near Martinpuisch that night of hell
Two men were struck by the same shell,
Together tumbling in one heap
Senseless and limp like slaughtered sheep.
.....

Robert Graves
The Envoy Of Mr Cogito

Go where those others went to the dark boundary
for the golden fleece of nothingness your last prize

go upright among those who are on their knees
.....

Zbigniew Herbert
The Race

On the hill they are crowding together,
In the stand they are crushing for room,
Like midge-flies they swarm on the heather,
They gather like bees on the broom;
.....

Adam Lindsay Gordon
Ode: Intimations Of Immortality From Recollections Of Early Childhood

The child is father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
(Wordsworth, “My Heart Leaps Up”)
.....

William Wordsworth
The Odyssey: Book 03

But as the sun was rising from the fair sea into the firmament of
heaven to shed Blight on mortals and immortals, they reached Pylos the
city of Neleus. Now the people of Pylos were gathered on the sea shore
to offer sacrifice of black bulls to Neptune lord of the Earthquake.
.....

Homer
Clocks

HERE is a face that says half-past seven the same way whether a murder or a wedding goes on, whether a funeral or a picnic crowd passes.
A tall one I know at the end of a hallway broods in shadows and is watching booze eat out the insides of the man of the house; it has seen five hopes go in five years: one woman, one child, and three dreams.
A little one carried in a leather box by an actress rides with her to hotels and is under her pillow in a sleeping-car between one-night stands.
One hoists a phiz over a railroad station; it points numbers to people a quarter-mile away who believe it when other clocks fail.
.....

Carl Sandburg
Letters To The Roman Friend

From Martial
Now is windy and the waves are cresting over
Fall is soon to come to change the place entirely.
Change of colors moves me, Postum, even stronger
.....

Joseph Brodsky
Saint Edmond's Eve

Oh! did you observe the Black Canon pass,
And did you observe his frown?
He goeth to say the midnight mass,
In holy St. Edmond's town.
.....

Percy Bysshe Shelley
Threnody

O ye who claim to be our loyal friends
Come now and build for us a funeral pyre,
And lay our emptied bodies on the fire,
Pray for our souls, murmur your sad amens;
.....

Harry Crosby
Captain Craig

I

I doubt if ten men in all Tilbury Town
Had ever shaken hands with Captain Craig,
.....

Edwin Arlington Robinson
For The King

Northern Mexico, 1640


As you look from the plaza at Leon west
.....

Bret Harte
Metamorphoses: Book 10

Thence, in his saffron robe, for distant Thrace,
Hymen departs, thro' air's unmeasur'd space;
By Orpheus call'd, the nuptial Pow'r attends,
But with ill-omen'd augury descends;
.....

Ovid
A Burial At Sea

The shore hath blent with the distant skies,
O'er the bend of the crested seas,
And the leaning ship in her pathway flies,
On the sweep of the freshened breeze.
.....

Sam G. Goodrich
Dirge Over A Nameless Grave

By yon still river, where the wave
Is winding slow at evening's close,
The beech, upon a nameless grave,
Its sadly-moving shadow throws.
.....

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sketches In The Exhibition

What various objects strike with various force,
Achilles, Hebe, and Sir Watkin's horse!
Here summer scenes, there Pentland's stormy ridge,
Lords, ladies, Noah's ark, and Cranford bridge!
.....

William Lisle Bowles
Helen

All Greece hates
the still eyes in the white face,
the lustre of the olives
where she stands,
.....

H. D.
The Iliad: Book 22

Thus the Trojans in the city, scared like fawns, wiped the sweat
from off them and drank to quench their thirst, leaning against the
goodly battlements, while the Achaeans with their shields laid upon
their shoulders drew close up to the walls. But stern fate bade Hector
.....

Homer
What Our Dead Do

Jan came this morning
รข??I dreamt of my father
he says

.....

Zbigniew Herbert
Upon Concluded Lives

735

Upon Concluded Lives
There's nothing cooler falls-
.....

Emily Dickinson
A Satirical Elegy

On the Death of a Late FAMOUS GENERAL


His Grace! impossible! what dead!
.....

Jonathan Swift
The River

And I behold once more
My old familiar haunts; here the blue river,
The same blue wonder that my infant eye
Admired, sage doubting whence the traveller came,--
.....

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ode To Melancholy

Come, let us set our careful breasts,
Like Philomel, against the thorn,
To aggravate the inward grief,
That makes her accents so forlorn;
.....

Thomas Hood
Rural Funerals - Prose

Here's a few flowers! but about midnight more:
The herbs that have on them cold dew o' the night
Are strewings fitt'st for graves,
You were as flowers now withered; even so
.....

Washington Irving
The Infanticide

Hark where the bells toll, chiming, dull and steady,
The clock's slow hand hath reached the appointed time.
Well, be it so--prepare, my soul is ready,
Companions of the grave--the rest for crime!
.....

Friedrich Schiller
Conlath And Cuthona

ARGUMENT.

Conlath was the youngest of Morni's sons, and brother to the celebrated Gaul. He was in love with Cuthona, the daughter of Rumar, when Toscar, the son of Kenfena, accompanied by Fercuth his friend, arrived from Ireland, at Mora, where Conlath dwelt. He was hospitably received, and according to the custom of the times, feasted three days with Conlath. On the fourth he set sail, and coasting the island of waves, one of the Hebrides, be saw Cuthona hunting, fell in love with her, and carried her away, by force, in his ship. He was forced, by stress of weather, into I-thona, a desert isle. In the mean time Conlath hearing of the rape, sailed after him, and found him on the point of sailing for the coast of Ireland. They fought: and they and their followers fell by mutual wounds. Cuthona did not long survive: for she died of grief the third day after. Fingal hearing of their unfortunate death, sent Stormal the son of Moran to bury them, but forgot to send a bard to sing the funeral song over their tombs. The ghost of Conlath comes long after to Ossian, to entreat him to transmit to posterity, his and Cuthona's fame. For it was the opinion of the times, that the souls of the deceased were not happy, till their elegies were composed by a bard.

.....

James Macpherson
Biography

When I am buried, all my thoughts and acts
Will be reduced to lists of dates and facts,
And long before this wandering flesh is rotten
The dates which made me will be all forgotten;
.....

John Masefield
Captain Craig Ii

Yet that ride had an end, as all rides have;
And the days coming after took the road
That all days take,-though never one of them
Went by but I got some good thought of it
.....

Edwin Arlington Robinson
Translation From Horace

[Justum et tenacem propositi virum, &c.]

The man of firm and noble soul
No factious clamours can control;
.....

George Gordon Byron
Ode

Written on the first of January, 1794


Come melancholy Moralizer-come!
.....

Robert Southey
The Funeral Of Youth: Threnody

The day that youth had died,
There came to his grave-side,
In decent mourning, from the country's ends,
Those scatter'd friends
.....

Rupert Brooke
The Garden

This Garden does not take my eyes,
Though here you show how art of men
Can purchase Nature at a price
Would stock old Paradise again.
.....

James Shirley
Funeral Tree Of The Sokokis

Around Sebago's lonely lake
There lingers not a breeze to break
The mirror which its waters make.

.....

John Greenleaf Whittier
The Death Of Admiral Blake

(August 7th, 1657)

Laden with spoil of the South, fulfilled with the glory of achievement,
And freshly crowned with never-dying fame,
.....

Sir Henry Newbolt
English Eclogues Iii - The Funeral

The coffin as I past across the lane
Came sudden on my view. It was not here,
A sight of every day, as in the streets
Of the great city, and we paus'd and ask'd
.....

Robert Southey