Poems that have me thinking…

As I was working on a  few prayers for a funeral I am officiating, I came across a few poems that I thought should be posted somewhere, so here they are:)  

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 word 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 it 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

 

We Remember Them
by Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer

At the rising of the sun and at its going down
We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter
We remember them.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring
We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer
We remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn
We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends
We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us as we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength
We remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart
We remember them.
When we have joy we crave to share
We remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make
We remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs
We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us as we remember them.

 

And while not suitable for this particular funeral—I saw this poem and immediately thought of my father:

Trout Fishing
by Eunice Lamberton
(1873)

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.

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