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 glints on snow,

I am the sun on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there; I did not die.

(Origin uncertain; commonly attributed to Mary Frye, ca 1932)


Death is nothing at all,

I have only slipped away 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 you used.

Put no difference into your tone;

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we always 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 effort,

Without the ghost of a shadow in it.

Life means all that it ever meant,

It is the same as it ever was.

There is absolute unbroken continuity.

What is death but a negligible accident ?

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.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost.

One brief moment and all will be as it was before.

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again !

(Henry Scott-Holland, Canon of St Paul's Cathedral)


Do not despair,

For Johnny-head-in-air;

He sleeps as sound

As Johnny underground.

Fetch out no shroud

For Johnny-in-the-cloud;

And keep your tears

For him in after years.

Better by far

For Johnny-the-bright-star

To keep your head,

And see his children fed.

(John Pudney ca 1940).

Little Shoes

I sit tonight and gaze upon

A row of little shoes

Each pair of them a different size

Each pair of different hues

First walkers for the baby boy

A pretty shade of red

He hasn't walked in them as yet

But won't be long, it's said.

It's little boots for two year old

For shoes he won't leave on

He says he doesn't walk in mud

His boots take him along.

For little Miss of five years old

A pair of neutral shade

A dainty pair of little shoes

With pink and blue inlaid.

For Master Seven straight and strong

A pair of sturdy brown

To walk the long way to the school

And kick footballs around.

Black patent leather for Miss Eight

A very special pair

Bought for her first Communion Day

And chosen with great care.

And they were put on once again

To walk the aisle, you see

'twas at her Auntie's wedding

A flower girl was she

And as I gaze at little shoes

All lined up in a row

I wonder where the little feet

Will in the future go

Please God the little shoes of red

Won't walk away from Him

But walk the straight and narrow path

Although the light be dim

I hope that little two year old

Is never at a loss

To tell his boots where he must go

And not let them be boss

And little Miss of five years old

May walk along the road

Of good and truth and honesty

Whatever be her load

And Master Seven in the game

Of Life that he must play

May be the best and fairest

In his Judge's eyes some day

And little Miss of eight years old

Again may walk the aisle

In shoes of gold or silver

And dressed in bridal style

Perhaps to take her final vows

Perhaps the bride of man

Whatever be her destiny

She'll strive the best she can

When all these feet have followed

The future's beckoning light

I'll sit and dream again once more

Just as I sit tonight

And were I to be granted

Any wish that I may choose

'twould be to see before me

That row of little shoes

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