Here is the second poem I read at my son’s funeral. Well actually I only managed to recite the last paragraph.
I remember my year 10 commerce teacher handing this to me on my last day of high school. Just those last 4 lines. I still carry it in my wallet.
Although I understood at the time, he was acknowledging the struggles I had having lost my mother suddenly in year 7, I never actually researched the poem. I thought he’d written those words just for me. I googled the lines, thinking they’d inspire me to write my own poem for my sons’ funeral and realized they are from a famous poet:
FAREWELL, Walter de la Mare
When I lie where shades of darkness
Shall no more assail mine eyes,
Nor the rain make lamentation
When the wind sighs;
How will fare the world whose wonder
Was the very proof of me ?
Memory fades, must the remembered perishing be ?
Oh, when this my dust surrenders
Hand, foot, lip, to dust again,
May these loved and loving faces
Please other men !
May the the rustling harvest hedgerow
Still the Travellers’ Joy entwine,
And as happy children gather
Posies once mine.
Look the last on all things lovely,
Every hour. Let no night
Seal thy sense in deathly slumber
Till to delight
Thou have paid thy utmost blessing;
Since that all things thou woudst praise
Beauty took from those who love them
In other days