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Funeral Poems For Grandmother

Funeral Poems For Grandmother

This is a poem I wrote for my grandma’s funeral, my sister had to read it for me, so I wouldn’t cry and mess it up, but she did worse than I would’ve.

In this section we have a number of traditional and contemporary funeral poems and readings plus a few that we have found and like. We hope that they provide you with some inspiration and some solace. Please do not hesitate to contact us to recommend any other poems or readings that you have found helpful or comforting to you. Thank you.

starttoday Funeral Program   8.5 x 11 (Letter Size)

 

Funeral poems for Grandmother

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can go 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.

Christina Rossetti

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
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 had forked no lightening 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.

Dylan Thomas

 

Book of Ecclesiastes – A Time For Everything

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboreth?
I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God. I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

The Bible, King James Version

 

Epitaph Upon A Child That Died

Here she lies, a pretty bud,
Lately made of flesh and blood:
Who as soon as fell fast asleep
As her little eyes did peep.
Give her strewings, but not stir
The earth that lightly covers her.

Robert Herrick

 

My Precious Son

Unendingly I mourn my precious son
Too early yet this earthly home he left,
Perfidious sleep confounded nature’s order
To leave his loves perpetually bereft.

Those golden dreams and aspirations,
The seed of yesterday a withered bloom,
Those baubles which are cause to celebrate
In death now mock us gently from his tomb.

How treacherous death does steal on youth’s exuberance,
To wreak such havoc from the ecstasy of life,
Where once was only joy and future promise
Tormented hearts endure eternal strife.

Pamela Davies

 

Look for me in Rainbows

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 know I loved you.

Time for me to leave you, I won’t say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, high 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 know I loved you.

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

Music and lyrics: Conn Bernard (1990). Vicki Brown

 

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

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 glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!

Mary Frye (1932)

 

Turn Again To Life

If I should die and leave you here a while,
be not like others sore undone,
who keep long vigil by the silent dust.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
something to comfort other hearts than thine.
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine
and I perchance may therein comfort you.

Mary Lee Hall

Funeral Blues

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 crépe 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.

WH Auden

 

Epitaph on a Friend

An honest man here lies at rest,
The friend of man, the friend of truth,
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so inform’d;
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.

Robert Burns

 

By Herself and Her Friends

If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone,
Nor when I’m gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must, Parting is hell,
But Life goes on, So sing as well.

Joyce Grenfell

 

So go and run free

So go and run free with the angels
Dance around the golden clouds
For the lord has chosen you to be with him
And we should feel nothing but proud
Although he has taken you from us
And our pain a lifetime will last
Your memory will never escape us
But make us glad for the time we did have
Your face will always be hidden
Deep inside our hearts
Each precious moment you gave us
Shall never, ever depart
So go and run free with the angels
As they sing so tenderly
And please be sure to tell them
To take good care of you for me

 

For Katrina’s Sun Dial

Time is too slow for those that wait,
Too swift for those that fear,
Too long for those that grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love, time is Eternity.

Henry Van Dyke

 

Inside Our Dreams

Where do people go to when they die?
Somewhere down below or in the sky?
‘I can’t be sure,’ said Grandad, ‘but it seems
They simply set up home inside our dreams.’

Jeanne Willis

 

Where do they go to?

Where do they go to, the people who leave?
Are they around us, in the cool evening breeze?
Do they still hear us, and watch us each day?
I’d like you to think of them with us that way.

Where do they go to, when no longer here?
I think that they stay with us, calming our fear
Loving us always, holding our hands
Walking beside us, on grass or on sand.

Where do they go to, well it’s my belief
They watch us and help us to cope with our grief
They comfort and stay with us, through each of our days
Guiding us always through life’s mortal maze.

KevF – 21st August 2007

 

Happiness

Happiness is silent, or speaks equivocally for friends,
Grief is explicit and her song never ends,
Happiness is like England, and will not state a case,
Grief, like Guilt, rushes in and talks apace.

Stevie Smith

 

Dead Woman

If suddenly you do not exist, if suddenly you are not living, I shall go on living.
I do not dare, I do not dare to write it, if you die. I shall go on living.
Because where a man has no voice, there shall be my voice
Where blacks are beaten, I can not be dead. When my brothers go to jail I shall go with them. When victory, not my victory, but the great victory arrives, even though I am mute I must speak: I shall see it come even though I am blind.
No, forgive me, if you are not living, if you, beloved, my love, if you have died.

Pablo Neruda

 

I will wait for you…

I will wait for you…
Though we never had a chance to say goodbye,
Remember me…
When winter snows are falling through a quiet sky
I’ll remember you
When, in our darkest hour,
You held my hand and prayed I wouldn’t go,
But a silent voice called out to me;
My time had come, and I had to travel Home…

Since then, I know your life has never been the same,
For I visit you each day:
So many times I’ve felt your pain:
I’ve watched you cry:
And I’ve heard you call my name…

But now, further along life’s road I stand
In a timeless world, just beyond your sight,
Waiting for the day when I can take your hand and bring you across
to this land of Golden Light…

Till then, remember me, you understand-and try not to cry.
But if you do:
Let your tears fall
For the happiness and joy we knew,
And for the special love we shared,
For love can never die.

Stephen O’Brien

 

The Final Flight

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free, I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard his call, I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day, To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way, I’ve found that peace at the end of the day.
If my parting has left a void, Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, Ah, yes, these things too I will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow, I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My Life’s been full, I savoured much, Good friends, good times, a loved one’ touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief, Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me, God wanted me now, He set me free.

 

Not In Vain

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

Emily Dickinson

 

To The Glory of Phil

I wonder if there are many slightly mad people. Who would think me so?
Yet I can sit on the floor in my study sorting my papers, saying to myself,
“I am going to succeed in what I do for the glory of Phil.
I will tell no one but hug the knowledge to myself.”

And I usually look as I pass the cemetery on my way home from work because, one day,
long after I am dead, I will see him walking down the sloping driveway,
away from the circle of flowers, towards the road.

Geoffrey Davies

 

Angel Moms

We have shared our tears and our sorrow,
We have given encouragement to each other,
Given hope for a brighter tomorrow,
We share the title of grieving mother.

Some of us lost older daughters or sons,
Who we watched grow over the years,
Some have lost their babies before their lives begun,
But no matter the age, we cry the same tears.

We understand each others pain,
The bond we share is very strong,
With each other there is no need to explain,
The path we walk is hard and long.

Our children brought us together,
They didn’t want us on this journey alone,
They knew we needed each other,
To survive the pain of them being gone.

So take my hand my friend,
We may stumble and fall along the way,
But we’ll get up and try again,
Because together we can make it day by day.

We can give each other hope,
We’ll create a place where we belong,
Together we will find ways to cope,
Because we are Angel Moms and together we are strong!

Judi Walker

 

Don’t Cry for me

Don’t cry for me now I have died, for I’m still here I’m by your side,
My body’s gone but my soul’s is here, please don’t shed another tear,
I am still here I’m all around, only my body lies in the ground.
I am the snowflake that kisses your nose,
I am the frost, that nips your toes.
I am the sun ,bringing you light,
I am the star, shining so bright.
I am the rain, refreshing the earth,
I am the laughter, I am the mirth.
I am the bird, up in the sky,
I am the cloud, that’s drifting by.
I am the thoughts, inside your head,
While I’m still there, I can’t be dead.

She Shall be Praised

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth no the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

 

Richer Then Gold

by Strickland Gillilan

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I had a mother who read to me.

The Watcher

by Margaret Widdemer

She always leaned to watch for us
Anxious if we were late,
In winter by the window,
In summer by the gate.
And though we mocked her tenderly
Who had such foolish care,
The long way home would seem more safe,
Because she waited there.
Her thoughts were all so full of us,
She never could forget,
And so I think that where she is
She must be watching yet.
Waiting ‘til we come home to her
Anxious if we are late
Watching from Heaven’s window
Leaning from Heaven’s gate.

 

I Never Saw Your Wings

by Michele (last name unknown)

How is it that I never saw your wings
when you were here with me?
When you closed your eyes and soared
to the Heavens I could hear the
faint flutter of you wings as you left.
Your body no longer on this side
your spirit here eternally I see your halo shine.
I close my eyes and see the multicolored wings
surround me in my saddest moments and my happiest times.
Mother my angel God has given you your assignment
always my mother forever my angel.
You fly into my dreams and when I am asleep
I feel your wings brush against my face wiping away
the tears I shed since I can no longer hold
you in my arms but in my heart.
You earned those wings dear mother
and you will always be me angel eternal.

 

The Watcher

by Margaret Widdemer

She always leaned to watch for us
Anxious if we were late,
In winter by the window,
In summer by the gate.
And though we mocked her tenderly
Who had such foolish care,
The long way home would seem more safe,
Because she waited there.
Her thoughts were all so full of us,
She never could forget,
And so I think that where she is
She must be watching yet.
Waiting ‘til we come home to her
Anxious if we are late
Watching from Heaven’s window
Leaning from Heaven’s gate.

 

Your Mother Is Always With You

by Unknown Author

Your mother is always with you…

She’s the whisper of the leaves
as you walk down the street.

She’s the smell of bleach in
your freshly laundered socks.

She’s the cool hand on your
brow when you’re not well.

Your mother lives inside
your laughter. She’s crystallized
in every tear drop…

She’s the place you came from,
your first home.. She’s the map you
follow with every step that you take.

She’s your first love and your first heart
break….and nothing on earth can separate you.

Not time, Not space…
Not even death….
will ever separate you
from your mother….

You carry her inside of you….

 

In Memory Of My Mother

by Patrick Kavanagh

I do not think of you lying in the wet clay
Of a Monaghan graveyard; I see
You walking down a lane among the poplars
On your way to the station, or happily

Going to second Mass on a summer Sunday–
You meet me and you say:
‘Don’t forget to see about the cattle–’
Among your earthiest words the angels stray.

And I think of you walking along a headland
Of green oats in June,
So full of repose, so rich with life–
And I see us meeting at the end of a town

On a fair day by accident, after
The bargains are all made and we can walk
Together through the shops and stalls and markets
Free in the oriental streets of thought.

O you are not lying in the wet clay,
For it is harvest evening now and we
Are piling up the ricks against the moonlight
And you smile up at us — eternally.

 

Mother to Son

by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

 

if there are any heavens my mother will

by E. E. Cummings

if there are any heavens my mother will(all by herself)have
one. It will not be a pansy heaven nor
a fragile heaven of lilies-of-the-valley but
it will be a heaven of blackred roses

my father will be(deep like a rose tall like a rose)

standing near my(swaying over her silent)
with eyes which are really petals and see

nothing with the face of a poet really which
is a flower and not a face with
hands which whisper
This is my beloved my(suddenly in sunlight he will bow& the whole garden will bow)

Mother o’ Mine

by Rudyard Kipling

If I were hanged on the highest hill,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
I know whose love would follow me still,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
I know whose tears would come down to me,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were damned of body and soul,
I know whose prayers would make me whole,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

 

My Mother

by Claude McKay

Reg wished me to go with him to the field,
I paused because I did not want to go;
But in her quiet way she made me yield
Reluctantly, for she was breathing low.
Her hand she slowly lifted from her lap
And, smiling sadly in the old sweet way,
She pointed to the nail where hung my cap.
Her eyes said: I shall last another day.
But scarcely had we reached the distant place,
When o’er the hills we heard a faint bell ringing;
A boy came running up with frightened face;
We knew the fatal news that he was bringing.
I heard him listlessly, without a moan,
Although the only one I loved was gone.

II

The dawn departs, the morning is begun,
The trades come whispering from off the seas,
The fields of corn are golden in the sun,
The dark-brown tassels fluttering in the breeze;
The bell is sounding and the children pass,
Frog-leaping, skipping, shouting, laughing shrill,
Down the red road, over the pasture-grass,
Up to the school-house crumbling on the hill.
The older folk are at their peaceful toil,
Some pulling up the weeds, some plucking corn,
And others breaking up the sun-baked soil.
Float, faintly-scented breeze, at early morn
Over the earth where mortals sow and reap–
Beneath its breast my mother lies asleep.

 

Mom and Me

By Unknown Author

Best friends forever mom and me
picking flowers and climbing trees.
a shoulder to cry on secrets to share
Warm hearts and hands that really care.

When God thought of mother
by Henry Ward Beecher
When God thought of mother,
He must have laughed with satisfaction,
and framed it quickly –
so rich, so deep, so divine,
so full of soul, power, and beauty,
was the conception.

 

Only One Mother

by Unknown Author

Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky,
Hundreds of shells on the shore together,
Hundreds of birds that go singing by,
Hundreds of birds in the sunny weather.
Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.

 

We had a wonderful Grandmother/grandfather

by Unknown Author

We had a wonderful grandmother/grandfather,
One who never really grew old;
Her/his smile was made of sunshine,
And her/his heart was solid gold;
Her/his eyes were as bright as shining stars,
And in her/his cheeks fair roses you see.
We had a wonderful grandmother,
And that’s the way it will always be.
But take heed, because
She’s/he’s still keeping an eye on all of us,
So let’s make sure
She/he will like what she/he sees.

 

Weep not for me though I am gone into that gentle night

by Unknown Author

Weep not for me though I am gone into that gentle night.
Grieve if you will, but not for long upon my soul’s sweet flight.
I am at peace, my soul’s at rest
There is no need for tears.
For with your love I was so blessed.
For all those many years.
There is no pain, I suffer not,
The fear now all is gone.
Put now these things out of your thoughts,
In your memory I live on.
Remember not my fight for breath
Remember not the strife.
Please do not dwell upon my death,
But celebrate my life.

 

A reminder that your Gramps/Grandma has not always been old!

by Unknown Author

Grandma/Grandpa, you were just a girl/boy,
So many years ago.
You had your loves and had your dreams,
You watched us come and go.

You watched us make the same mistakes,
That you had made before,
But that just made you hold us tight,
And love us all the more.

We haven’t always thought about
The things that you have seen.
To us you’ve just been ‘Grandma/Grandpa’,
No thought of who you’ve been.

But we remember now in love,
Your life from start to end,
And we’re just glad we knew you,
As Grandma/Grandpa, and as Friend.

 

You Were There

by Unknown Author

You were there when we took our first steps,
And went unsteadily across the floor.
You pushed and prodded: encouraged and guided,
Until our steps took us out the door…
You worry now “Are they ok?”
Is there more you could have done?
As we walk the paths of our unknown
You wonder”Where have my children gone?”
Where we are is where you have led us,
With your special love you showed us a way,
To believe in ourselves and the decisions we make.
Taking on the challenge of life day-to-day.
And where we go you can be sure,
In spirit you shall never be alone.
For where you are is what matters most to us,
Because to us that will always be home…

 

Wonderful Mother

By Patrick O’Reilly

God made a wonderful mother,
A mother who never grows old;
He made her smile of the sunshine.
And He moulded her heart of pure gold;
In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,
In her cheeks fair roses you see;
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear mother to me.

 

Mother’s Songs

By Unknown Author

Songs my mother taught me,
In the days long vanished.
Seldom from her eyelids,
Were the teardrops banished.
Now I teach my children,
Each melodious measure.
Oft the teardrops flowing,
Oft they flow from my memory’s treasure.

 

Child and mother

by Eugene Field

O mother-my-love, if you’ll give me your hand,
And go where I ask you to wander,
I will lead you away to a beautiful land,–
The Dreamland that’s waiting out yonder.
We’ll walk in a sweet posie-garden out there,
Where moonlight and starlight are streaming,
And the flowers and the birds are filling the air
With the fragrance and music of dreaming.

There’ll be no little tired-out boy to undress,
No questions or cares to perplex you,
There’ll be no little bruises or bumps to caress,
Nor patching of stockings to vex you;
For I’ll rock you away on a silver-dew stream
And sing you asleep when you’re weary,
And no one shall know of our beautiful dream
But you and your own little dearie.

And when I am tired I’ll nestle my head
In the bosom that’s soothed me so often,
And the wide-awake stars shall sing, in my stead,
A song which our dreaming shall soften.
So, Mother-my-Love, let me take your dear hand,
And away through the starlight we’ll wander,–
Away through the mist to the beautiful land,–
The Dreamland that’s waiting out yonder.

 

The Last Words Of My English Grandmother

by William Carlos Williams

There were some dirty plates
and a glass of milk
beside her on a small table
near the rank, disheveled bed—

Wrinkled and nearly blind
she lay and snored
rousing with anger in her tones
to cry for food,

Gimme something to eat—
They’re starving me—
I’m all right I won’t go
to the hospital. No, no, no

Give me something to eat
Let me take you
to the hospital, I said
and after you are well

you can do as you please.
She smiled, Yes
you do what you please first
then I can do what I please—

Oh, oh, oh! she cried
as the ambulance men lifted
her to the stretcher—
Is this what you call

making me comfortable?
By now her mind was clear—
Oh you think you’re smart
you young people,

she said, but I’ll tell you
you don’t know anything.
Then we started.
On the way

we passed a long row
of elms. She looked at them
awhile out of
the ambulance window and said,

What are all those
fuzzy-looking things out there?
Trees? Well, I’m tired
of them and rolled her head away.

 

Mother’s Day Proclamation

by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God –
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

 

On Receipt Of My Mother’s Picture

by William Cowper

Oh that those lips had language! Life has pass’d
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine–thy own sweet smiles I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else, how distinct they say,
“Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!”
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Blest be the art that can immortalize,
The art that baffles time’s tyrannic claim
To quench it) here shines on me still the same.

Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
Oh welcome guest, though unexpected, here!
Who bidd’st me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long,
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own;
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief–
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art she.

My mother! when I learn’d that thou wast dead,
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed?
Hover’d thy spirit o’er thy sorrowing son,
Wretch even then, life’s journey just begun?
Perhaps thou gav’st me, though unseen, a kiss;
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss–
Ah that maternal smile! it answers–Yes.
I heard the bell toll’d on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nurs’ry window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu!
But was it such?–It was.–Where thou art gone
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting sound shall pass my lips no more!
Thy maidens griev’d themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of a quick return.
What ardently I wish’d, I long believ’d,
And, disappointed still, was still deceiv’d;
By disappointment every day beguil’d,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent,
I learn’d at last submission to my lot;
But, though I less deplor’d thee, ne’er forgot.

Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more,
Children not thine have trod my nurs’ry floor;
And where the gard’ner Robin, day by day,
Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapt
In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet capt,
‘Tis now become a history little known,
That once we call’d the past’ral house our own.
Short-liv’d possession! but the record fair
That mem’ry keeps of all thy kindness there,
Still outlives many a storm that has effac’d
A thousand other themes less deeply trac’d.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,
That thou might’st know me safe and warmly laid;
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
The biscuit, or confectionary plum;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow’d
By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glow’d;
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
Ne’er roughen’d by those cataracts and brakes
That humour interpos’d too often makes;
All this still legible in mem’ry’s page,
And still to be so, to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honours to thee as my numbers may;
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Not scorn’d in heav’n, though little notic’d here.

Could time, his flight revers’d, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture’s tissued flow’rs,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I prick’d them into paper with a pin,
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Would’st softly speak, and stroke my head and smile)
Could those few pleasant hours again appear,
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not trust my heart–the dear delight
Seems so to be desir’d, perhaps I might.–
But no–what here we call our life is such,
So little to be lov’d, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.

Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion’s coast
(The storms all weather’d and the ocean cross’d)
Shoots into port at some well-haven’d isle,
Where spices breathe and brighter seasons smile,
There sits quiescent on the floods that show
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay;
So thou, with sails how swift! hast reach’d the shore
“Where tempests never beat nor billows roar,”
And thy lov’d consort on the dang’rous tide
Of life, long since, has anchor’d at thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distress’d–
Me howling winds drive devious, tempest toss’d,
Sails ript, seams op’ning wide, and compass lost,
And day by day some current’s thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a prosp’rous course.
But oh the thought, that thou art safe, and he!
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not that I deduce my birth
From loins enthron’d, and rulers of the earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise–
The son of parents pass’d into the skies.
And now, farewell–time, unrevok’d, has run
His wonted course, yet what I wish’d is done.
By contemplation’s help, not sought in vain,
I seem t’ have liv’d my childhood o’er again;
To have renew’d the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine:
And, while the wings of fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic shew of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft–
Thyself remov’d, thy power to sooth me left.

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