Five Beautiful Non-Religious Poems For Funerals

Five Beautiful Non-Religious Poems | Sally TerringtonMany people, when creating their Eulogy like to include recitals of poetry which they feel offers a strong interpretation of either how they are feeling or how they valued and perceived their departed Family member or Friend.

Many of these poems or readings are often of a religious tone, and so for those who identify as non-religious, finding something suitable which also describes what you are feeling can be a little troublesome. And so, here you can find five of my favourite non-religious poems by Poets such as Dylan Thomas, Emily Dickinson and Lord Byron;

1. Because I Could Not Stop For Death – Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for death
He kindly stopped for me
The carriage held but just ourselves
And immortality.

We slowly drove – he knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For his civility

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess – in the ring
We passed the fields of gazing grain
We passed the setting sun

Or rather – he passed us
The dews drew quivering and chill
For only gossamer, my Gown
My tippet – only tulle

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground
The roof was scarcely visible
The cornice – in the Ground

Since then – ’tis centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity

2. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night – Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that goodnight,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right.
Because their words have forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that goodnight.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that goodnight,

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that goodnight.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

3. The Soldier – Rupert Brooke

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blessed by sons of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

4. And Death Shall Have No Dominion – Dylan Thomas

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

5. No Longer Mourn For Me – Sonnet 71 – William Shakespeare

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell;
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it, for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then you should make you woe.
O if (I say) you look upon this verse,
When I, perhaps, compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay;
Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
And mock you with me after I am gone.

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