Funeral Poetry And Quotations (1)

 Experienced Funeral Celebrant Graduates of the International College of Celebrancy choose their favourite funeral poems and quotations.

Funeral Blues - W.H.Auden - quoted in the movie "Four Weddings and a Funeral"

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,Funeral Blues a W.H.Auden poem from the movie- Four Weddings and Funeral
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message 'He is Dead'.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

NOONTIDE - by the Eastern poet, philosopher and artist, Kahlil Gibran.

Farewell to you and the youth I have spent with you.
It was but yesterday we met in a dream.
You have sung to me in my aloneness,
And I, of your longings, have built a tower in the sky.
But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over
And it is no longer dawn.
The noontide is upon us and our half-waking
Has turned to fuller day and we must part.
If in the twilight of memory
We should meet again once more
We shall speak again together
And you shall sing to me in a deeper song
And if our hands should meet in another dream
We shall build another tower in the sky.


Farewell friends, yet not farewell,
Where you are, I too, shall dwell.
I am gone beyond your face,
A moments march, a single pace.

When you come where I have stepped
You will wonder why you wept tears;
I am a simple seashell,
One out of which the pearl is gone,
The shell is nothing - leave it there;
The pearl, the soul - was all - is here.

BEAUTIFUL LIVES - by Lucille Boesken

Beautiful faces
are those that show
Deep concern for another's woe

Beautiful lips
are those that speak
Words of cheer
to the sick and weak

Beautiful hands
are those that do
Heart-warming things
the whole day through

Beautiful minds
are those that hold
Kindly thoughts for the young and old
Beautiful eyes
are those that see
Some good in humanity
Beautiful lives are those that bless
The lives of others with happiness.

from The Garden of Proserpine -Algernon Charles Swinburne

“From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be

That no man lives forever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.”

Ithaca - C.P. Cavafy

When you start on the journey to Ithaca, Theh Journey to Ithaca near Greece
then pray the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
Do not fear the Lestrygonians and the Cyclopes and the Poseidon.
You will never meet such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty,
if a fine emotion touches your body and your spirit.
You will never meet the Lestrygonians, the Cyclopes and the fierce Poseidon,
if you do not carry them with your soul,
if your soul does not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not raise them up before you.

Then pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many,
that you will enter ports seen for the first time with such pleasure, with such joy!
Stop at Phonecian markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and corals, amber and ebony, and pleasurable perfumes of all kinds,
buy as many pleasurable perfumes as you can;
visit hosts of Egyptian cities,
o learn and learn from those who have knowledge.

Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for long years;
and even to anchor at the isle when you are old,
rich with all that you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
Ithaca has given you a beautiful voyage.
Without her you would never have taken the road.
But she has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor,
Ithaca has not defrauded you.
- With the great wisdom you have gained,
with so much experience, you must surely
have understood by then
what the journey to Ithaca means.