Philip Bourke Marston

    A little time for laughter,
    A little time to sing,
    A little time to kiss and cling,
    And no more kissing after.

    A little while for scheming
    Love's unperfected schemes;
    A little time for golden dreams,
    Then no more any dreaming.

    A little while 'twas given
    To me to have thy love;
    Now, like a ghost, alone I move
    About a ruined heaven.

    A little time for speaking
    Things sweet to say and hear;
    A time to seek, and find thee near,
    Then no more any seeking.

    A little time for saying
    Words the heart breaks to say;
    A short sharp time wherein to pray,
    Then no more need of praying;

    But long, long years to weep in,
    And comprehend the whole
    Great grief that desolates the soul,
    And eternity to sleep in.


    Walter Savage Landor

    Death, tho' I see him not, is near
    And grudges me my eightieth year.
    Now, I would give him all tese last
    For one that fifty have run past.
    Ah! He strikes all things, all alike,
    But bargains: those he will not strike

    On Sir John Vanbrugh - Architect

    Abel Evans

    Under this stone, reader, survey
    Dead Sir John Vanbrugh's house of clay.
    Lie heavy on him, Earth! for he
    Laid many heavy loads on thee.

    My Own Epitaph

    John Gay

    Life is a Jest, and all things show it;
    I thought so once, and now I know it.

    The Sun May Set and Rise

    Sir Walter Ralegh

    The sun may set and rise:
    But we contrariwise
    Sleep after our short light
    One everlasting night.

    In My Youth the Growls

    Alfred Lord Tennyson

    In my youth the growls.
    In mine age the owls.
    After death the ghouls

    We Said Goodbye, You're Gone for Good

    Cap'n Bean (aka, David J Cyr)

    We said goodbye, you're gone for good,
    And, sadly, we're forsaken;
    We buried you 'cause you looked dead . . .
    We hope we weren't mistaken

    Within This Grave Do Lie


    Within this grave do lie,
    Back to back, my wife and I;
    When the last trumpet the air shall fill,
    If she gets up, I'll just lie still

    A Hinted Wish

    Martial, translated by Samuel Johnson

    You told me, Maro, whilst you live
    You'd not a single penny give,
    But that, whene'er you chanced to die,
    You'd leave a handsome legacy.
    You must be mad beyond redress
    If my next wish you cannot guess.

    Look for me in Rainbows

    Conn Bernard

    Time for me to go now, I won't say goodbye;
    Look for me in rainbows, way up in the sky.

    In the morning sunrise when all the world is new,
    Just look for me and love me, as you knew I loved you.

    Time for me to leave you, I won't say goodbye;
    Look for me in rainbows, way up in the sky.

    In the evening sunset, when all the world is through,
    Just look for me and love me, and I'll be close to you.

    It won't be forever, the day will come and then,
    My loving arms will hold you when we meet again.

    Time for us to part now, we won't say goodbye;
    Look for me in rainbows, shining in the sky.

    Every waking moment, and all your whole life through,
    Just look for me and love me, as you knew I loved you

    Just wish me to be near you,
    And I'll be there with you.

    Epitaph for Her Husband

    Katherine Lady Dyer

    My dearest dust, could not thy hasty day
    Afford thy drowsy patience leave to stay
    One hour longer: so that we might either
    Stay up, or gone to bed together?
    But since thy finished labor hath possessed
    Thy weary limbs with early rest,
    Enjoy it sweetly; and thy widow bride
    Shall soon repose her by thy slumbering side;
    Whose business, now, is only to prepare
    My nightly dress, and call to prayer:
    Mine eyes wax heavy and the day grows old,
    The dew falls thick, my blood grows cold.
    Draw, draw the closed curtains and make room:
    My dear, my dearest dust; I come, I come.


    Christina Rossetti

    Remember me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land;
    When you can no more hold me by the hand,
    Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
    Remember me when no more day by day
    You tell me of our future that you planned:
    Only remember me; you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray.
    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
    For if the darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
    Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.

    Holy Sonnet

    John Donne (1572-1631)

    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.

    Were I a King

    Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (1550-1604)

    Were I a king I could command content;
    Were I obscure, unknown should be my cares;
    Or were I dead, no thoughts should me torment,
    Nor hopes, nor hates, nor loves, nor griefs, nor fears.
    A doubtful choice, of three things which to crave,
    A kingdom, or a cottage, or a grave.

    Conscientious Objector

    Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

    I shall die, but
    that is all that I shall do for Death.
    I hear him leading his horse out of the stall;
    I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
    He is in haste; he has business in Cuba,
    business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
    But I will not hold the bridle
    while he clinches the girth.
    And he may mount by himself:
    I will not give him a leg up.

    Though he flicks my shoulders with his whip,
    I will not tell him which way the fox ran.
    With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where
    the black boy hides in the swamp.
    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death;
    I am not on his pay-roll.

    I will not tell him the whereabout of my friends
    nor of my enemies either.
    Though he promises me much,
    I will not map him the route to any man's door.
    Am I a spy in the land of the living,
    that I should deliver men to Death?
    Brother, the password and the plans of our city
    are safe with me; never through me
    Shall you be overcome?

    Summer Dawn

    William Morris (1834-1896)

    Pray but one prayer for me 'twixt thy closed lips,
    Think but one thought of me up in the stars.
    The summer night waneth, the morning light slips
    Faint & gray 'twixt the leaves of the aspen, betwixt the cloud-bars,
    That are patiently waiting there for the dawn:
    Patient and colourless, though Heaven's gold
    Waits to float through them along with the sun.

    Far out in the meadows, above the young corn,
    The heavy elms wait, and restless and cold
    The uneasy wind rises; the roses are dun;
    Through the long twilight, they pray for the dawn
    Round the lone house in the midst of the corn.
    Speak but one word to me over the corn,
    Over the tender, bow'd locks of the corn.

    The Walk

    Thomas Hardy

    You did not walk with me
    Of late to the hill-top tree
    By the gated ways,
    As in earlier days;
    You were weak and lame,
    So you never came,
    And I went alone, and I did not mind,
    Not thinking of you as left behind.

    I walked up there to-day
    Just in the former way;
    Surveyed around
    The familiar ground
    By myself again:
    What difference, then?
    Only that underlying sense
    Of the look of a room on returning thence.

    Funeral Blues

    W. H. Auden (1907-1973)

    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    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 crêpe 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.

    Dirge Without Music

    Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

    I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
    So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
    Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
    With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

    Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
    Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
    A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
    A formula, a phrase remains – but the best is lost.

    The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
    They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
    Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
    More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

    Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
    Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
    Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
    I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

    Do Not go Gentle into That Good Night

    Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rage 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 had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    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 good night.

    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 good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

With Grace