Words & Poetry

Find here some links to pages containing words, poems and invocations which may be useful to back up your ideas or to use in lieu of religious ceremonial words you don’t believe in.

Poems suitable for humanist ceremonies

Some words for funerals, weddings, or naming ceremonies

This is the Silent Haven by Robert G. Ingersoll

A thinker of pure thoughts, a speaker of brave words,
a doer of generous deeds has reached the silent haven
that all the dead have reached,
and where the voyage of every life must end; and we,
his friends, who even now are hastening after him,
are met to do the last kind acts that man may do for man—
to tell his virtues and to lay with tenderness
and tears his ashes in the sacred place of rest and peace.

Turn again to life, by Mary Lee Hall

If I should die and leave you here a while
Be not like others, sore undone, who keep
Long vigil by the silent dust and weep
For my sake turn to life and smile
Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
Something to comfort weaker hearts than thine
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I perchance may therein comfort you

Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep, by Mary Frye

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 sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn’s 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

A spring will come by (our very own) John Webster

For each of us will come a Spring
We’re destined not to see;
With fragrant flowers and new-mown grass
And subtle scented breeze.

And yet somehow we will be there
At least in loved ones’ minds;
In what we’ve built, in what we’ve dreamt,
In all we’ve left behind.

IF THERE ARE ANY HEAVENS 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 that 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,
and the whole garden will bow

from ‘ADONAIS’ by P. B. Shelley

He is made one with Nature:there is heard His voice in all her music, from the moan Of thunder, to the song of night’s sweet bird;  He is a presence to be felt and known In darkness and in light, from herb and stone, Spreading itself where’er that Power may move  Which has withdrawn his being to its own;  Which wields the world with never-wearied love, Sustains it from beneath, and kindles it above.    He is a portion of the loveliness Which once he made more lovely….

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