Poems about Death

Our Poems about death are a selection of thought provoking and inspiring poems from people from all walks of life with one thing in common, to try to put into words that fate which awaits us all. Short Poems about death can be adopted to any of our memorials with an image along side if required.


Poems for the dead

I Shall Know Why

I shall know why, when time is over
And I have ceased to wonder why
Christ will explain each separate anguish
In the fair schoolroom of the sky.
Emily Dickinson 1830-1886
Poems for the dead

A Voice From Afar

Weep not for me…
Be blithe as won’t, nor tinge with gloom
The stream of love that circles home
Light hearts and free
Joy in the gifts Heaven’s bounty lends
Nor miss my face dear friends

I still am near…Watching the smiles I prized on earth
Your converse mild, your blamless mirth
Now too I hear of whisper’d sounds the tale complete
Low prayers and musings sweet

A sea before the Throne is spread…it’s pure still glass
Pictures all earth scenes as they pass
We on it’s shore, share in the bosm of our rest
God’s knowledge and are blest.
Blessed John Henry Newman 1801-1890

Poems for the dead

Speak To Him

Speak to Him thou for he hears
And Spirit with Spirit can meet
Closer is He than breathing
and nearer than hands and feet.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1809-1892

Poems for the dead

Prepare us O Lord

We seem to give them back to thee, O God, who gavest them to us.
Yet as thou didst not lose them in the giving,
so we do not lose them by their return.
Not as the world givith, givist thou, O lover of souls.
What Thou givist, thou takest not away,
for what is Thine is also ours if we are Thine.
And life is eternal and love is immortal and death is only a horizon,
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see much further,
cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly,
draw us closer to Thyself that we may know ourselves
to be nearer to our loved ones who are now with Thee.
And while Thou dost prepare a place for them,
prepare us also for that happy place,
that where Thou art we may also be for ever more.
Bede Jarrett 1881-1934

Poems about death

From Dewy Dreams

From dewy dreams, my soul, arise
From love’s deep slumber and from death
For lo! the trees are full of sighs
Whose leaves the morn admonisheth

Eastward the gradual dawn prevails
Where softly burning fires appear
Making to tremble all those veils
Of Gery and Golden gossamer

While sweetly, gently, secretly
The flowery bells of morn are stirred
And the wise choirs of faery
Begin (innumerous) to be heard.
James Joice, Dublin 1882-1941

Poems for the dead

Death Be Not Proud

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not poor death, nor yet canst 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 art 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.
John Donne, England 1572-1631

Poems for the dead

My Weary Soul

O Love that wilt not let me go
I rest my weary soul in Thee
I give Thee back the gift I owe
That in Thine, ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
George Matheson

Poems for the dead


Some say that death is only the beginning
I believe that death is just the birth of a life that we can only dream of
Everyone says that death is lurking around the corner
I believe that death stands right there behind us all waiting to claim her trophy
They say that death is but a man
I believe that death is actually a woman in disguise
All people say that death takes whoever she wants
I believe that death picks her victims
based on who looks more promising enough to please her.
Zackory Kzeminski

Poems for the dead

A Psalm of Life (1839)

Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers, and things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not the goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-1882

Poems about death

A Silence Loud

A silence loud that has no sound.
A voice heard that has not spoken.
A person gone yet always present.
A loss acknowledged but not accepted.
A prayer directed and not answered.
A love left homeless by death forsaken.
Susan Walter

Poems for the dead
In Heavenly Love Abiding
In Heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear
And safe in such confiding, for nothing changes here
The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid
But God is round about me…and can I be dismayed?Whever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back
My Shepherd is beside me and nothing can I lack
His wisdom ever walking, His sight is never dim
He knows the way He’s talking, and I will walk with HimGreen pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen
Bright skies will soon be over me, where darkest clouds have been
My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free
My Saviour has my treasure, and He will walk with me.
Anna Laetita Waring, Wales 1820-1910
Poems for the dead

On Another’s Sorrow

Can I see another’s woe
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief
And not seek for kind relief?
Can I see a falling tear
And not feel my sorrow’s share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow fill’d?
Willam Blake 1757-1827

Poems for the dead

The Pillar Of The Cloud

Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark and I am far from home
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet, I do not ask to see
The distant scene, one step enough for me

I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that Thou
Shouldst lead me on
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears
Pride rulled my will, remember not past years

So long Thy power hath blest me, sue it still
Will lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone
And with the morn those Angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
Blessed John Henry Newman 1801-1890

Poems for the dead

The Christian Does Not Fear Thee, Death

The Christian does not fear thee, death
Nor does he dread the grave
For thou art just a means of wealth
That one day he shall have…
The Christian know the grave to be a portal to the skies
Tis just a door to Heaven, where he shall meet the Saviour’s eyes.
Paige Scott

Poems for the dead

My Eternal King

My God, I love thee, not because
I hope for Heaven thereby
Nor yet because who love Thee not
Are lost eternally

Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me
Upon the Cross embrace
For me didst bear the nails and spear
And manifold disgrace

And griefs and torments numberless
And sweat of agony
E’en death itself, and all for one
Who was Thin enemy

Then why, O blessed Jesu Christ
Should I not love Thee well
Not for the sake of winning Heaven
Or of escaping hell

Not with the hope of gaining aught
Not seeking a reward
But as thyself has loved me
O ever loving Lord!

E’en so I love Thee, and will love
And in Thy praise will sing
Solely because Thou art my God
And my eternal King.
Sanit Francis Xavier 1506-1552

Poems for the dead

Why Weep?

Why weep? Our tears do not bring back the dead.
But take us to an empty place where grief stands waiting.
They water seeds of pity and of loss and give instead of comfort,
only sharper edges to the hurt.
And yet we do weep, as if our spirit knows
We must not harden in a private world:
And in those tears perhaps some healing flows.
Susan Walter

Poems for the dead
Voices Upon Each Shoulder
The voice of good and bad sit upon each shoulder
But only one shows real as one of them gets older
Life so good…death so bad
But life isn’t come before death one’s had
I have freewill to sin or the choice to obey
These are not the same the word is clear to say
Sin via your freewill
Obediance the only way to live
Otherwise death is lifeless and by life a slow death you give
My will at free is lost
My obediance is the only choice
If disobedience is death than only life has a voice.
Jahrae Lii
Poems for the dead

Thoughts of you

As a perfume doth remain in the folds where if hath lain,
So the thought of you, remaining
Deeply folded in my brain, will not leave me:
All things leave me; you remain.
Pale as with pain, breath fails me when
the hour tolls deep.
My thoughts recover the days that are over
And I weep.
Arthur Symons 1865-1945

Poems about death


How stern are the woes of the desolate mourner
As he bends in still grief o’er the hallowed bier
As enanguished he turns from the laugh of the scorner
And drops to perfection’s remembrance a tear
When floods od despair down his pale cheeks are streaming
When no blissful hope on his bosom is beaming
Or, if lulled for a while, soon he starts from his dreaming
And finds torn the soft ties to affection so dear.

Ah, when shall day dawn on the night of the grave
Or summer succeed to the winter of death?
Rest awhile, hapless victim! and Heaven will save
The spirit that hath faded away with the breath
Eternity points, in its amaranth bower
Where no clouds of fate o’er the sweet prospect lour
Unspeakable pleasure, of goodness the dower
When woe fades away like the mist of the heath.
Percy Bysshe Shelly, England 1792-1822

Poems for the dead

Love Eternal

In death there is beauty
We sleep like angels
With he tranquility of innocence
Death will not conquer our love
As we are bounded by memories
And our love will flourish
Death is our sadness
For I will long for your flesh
But our journeys will not be far apart
Death is our sanctuary from the woes of life
In death we find peace
Death brings unwavering hope
For the time of resurrection
In death we find love eternal.
Bernice W. Wilson

Poems for the dead


Softly and gently, dearly-ransomed soul,
In my most loving arms I now enfold thee,
And o’er the penal waters, as they roll,
I poise thee, and I lower thee, and hold thee.

And carefully I dip thee in the lake,
And thou, without a sob or a resistance,
Dost through the flood thy rapid passage take,
Sinking deep, deeper, into the dim distance.

Angels, to whom the willing task is given,
Will tend, and nurse, and lull thee as thou liest;
And Masses on the earth, and prayers in Heaven,
Shall aid thee at the Throne of the Most Highest.

Farewell, but not for ever! brother dear,
Be brave and patient on thy bed of sorrow;
Swiftly shall pass thy night of trial here,
And I will come and wake thee on the morrow.
Blessed John Henry Newman 1801-1809

Poems for the dead

Heavenly Journey

When we die – as we must die
Assend we will to the mighty summit
Floating in silence above the sea
Travelling upward vertically…
Until we reach our place in Heaven
The peak, the pinnacle, the zenith
And through a golden gate so grand
We will touch Our Fathers Hand.
John Hemsley

Poems for the dead
Memories-God is always with us
There’s a pleasure in the knowing and a pleasure in the new,
There’s a sadness in the going and this I know is true.
There’s a journey in a lifetime, where each must make their way,
But remember after darkness there comes a brand new day.
So when the night is darkest, and you find it hard to bear,
Remember, when you are lonely, that He is always there.
Memories God is always with us


Take me away, and in the lowest deep
There let me be, and there in hope the lone night
watches keep, told out for me.
There, motionless and happy in my pain,
Lone, not forlorn,
There I will sing, and soothe my stricken breast,
Which ne’er can cease to throb, and pine, and languish,
Till possest of its Sole Peace.
There will I sing my absent Lord and Love,
Take me away,
That sooner I may rise, and go above,
And see Him in the truth of everlasting day.


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