This article is a collection of poems that can be used for a eulogy, memorial or tribute. Here are poems that can be used to talk about sisters or mothers, as well as more general poems and including a poem for someone who was in the military. More uniquely, there is a poem about fishing.
The following poem was written by Emily Dickinson, and would make for a good poem for the service programme.
I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.
Nor had I time to love; but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.
This is a very popular poem to read at funerals, as it is suitable for anyone and any relation.
Do Not Stand by 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 glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
(Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!)
By Mary Frye, 1932.
Here we have a poem written by Clara A. Merril. It is called ‘In Memory of Appey M. Merrill. This is a poem about a sister who has passed away. It is a fairly long poem, so you could read out just a verse or two, depending on how long you have to speak for.
In Memory of Appey M. Merrill
Softly, sweetly she is sleeping
Where the slender grasses wave;
Daisies bright, their vigil keeping
O’er her calm and peaceful grave.
Naught can e’er disturb her slumber
Passed all pain from sorrow free;
Gone from earth, to join the number
O’er the silent, mystic sea.
Sweetly sleep, dear, gentle sister,
Tranquil ever be thy rest,
Yet, ah yet, how we have missed her
Gone from those she loved the best.
Gone from the home—and o’er her pillow
Strewn with flowers, so fair and white
Fell tears, and grief like surging billow
Touched the heart with withering blight.
Time can ne’er efface our sadness
Still the heart’s filled with despair
For the loved one, who in gladness
Made the earth-home bright and fair.
Sad the way seems now, and lonely,
As we journey day by day
Paths through which she wandered, only
Scattering brightness o’er the way.
Memory points with beckoning finger
Through the mists of long ago
To her songs, which sweetly linger
In the hush of twilight’s glow
Points to words of comfort, spoken
By those lips so good and true
Tells of her love, so true, unbroken,
And we weep in grief anew.
For the gentle hands lie folded,
And the pure heart now is still;
And the brow, in beauty molded
By the Hand of Death, so chill
Is now at rest. Yet visions brightly
Through the misty haze will bring
A joy, like whispered promise, lightly
Wafted as on Zephyr’s wing.
Visions of that promised splendor
Of a mansion fair, on high;
Where, with welcome warm and tender
She will greet us by and by.
By and by sweet hope, elating
When the Voice that bid dear Appey sleep
Shall call us forth, where she is waiting,
Ne’er to part, no more to weep.
Clara A. Merrill
The following poem could replace a eulogy for the funeral of a mother.
What can you say
What can you say
To someone who has always been one of
The most essential parts of your world;
Someone who took you by the hand
When you were little
And helped to show the way
What do you say to someone
Who stood by to help you grow,
Providing love, strength, and support
So you could become the person
You are today?
What can you say to let her know
That she’s the best there is,
And that you hope you’ve inherited
Some of her wisdom and her strength?
What words would you say
If you ever got the chance?
Maybe you just say
‘I love you Mum’
And hope she understands.
The following poem would be a good poem for a member of the family who served in the army. We also have another poem that could be read, called ‘Old Soldiers Never Die’.
To fight aloud is very brave,
But gallanter, I know,
Who charge within the bosom,
The cavalry of woe.
Who win, and nations do not see,
Who fall, and none observe,
Whose dying eyes no country
Regards with patriot love.
We trust, in plumed procession,
For such the angels go,
Rank after rank, with even feet
And uniforms of snow.
This lovely poem would be perfect for the funeral of a person who loved to go fishing in their spare time. It is a nice alternative poem, to commemorate a brother, father, uncle or grandfather.
Give me a rod of the split bamboo,
a rainy day and a fly or two,
a mountain stream where the eddies play,
and mists hang low o’er the winding way,
Give me a haunt by the furling brook,
A hidden spot in a mossy nook,
No sound save hum of the drowsy bee,
or lone bird’s tap on the hollow tree.
The world may roll with it’s busy throng,
And phantom scenes on it’s way along,
It’s stocks may rise, or it’s stocks may fall,
Ah! What care I for it’s baubles all?
I cast my fly o’er the troubled rill,
Luring the beauties by magic skill,
With mind at rest and a heart at ease,
And drink delight at the balmy breeze.
A lusty trout to my glad surprise,
Speckled and bright on the crest arise,
Then splash and plunge in a dazzling whirl,
Hope springs anew as the wavelets curl.
Gracefully swinging from left to right,
Action so gentle- motion so slight,.
Tempting, enticing, on craft intent,
Till yielding tip by the game is bent
Drawing in slowly, then letting go
Under the ripples where mosses grow
Doubting my fortune, lost in a dream,
Blessing the land of forest and stream.
Eunice Lamberton 1873, revisions ©2002-2010 Mark Minter/ saddogshirts.com
We finish this article by leaving you with a classic poem which is frequently read at funerals and memorials.
All Is Well
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped 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 easy way which 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 ever the household world that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was, there is 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.
By Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918), Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral