Death Poems - Poems For Death - Go Down, Death

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Go Down, Death - Poem by James Weldon Johnson

Weep not, weep not,
She is not dead;
She's resting in the bosom of Jesus.
Heart-broken husband--weep no more;
Grief-stricken son--weep no more;
Left-lonesome daughter --weep no more;
She only just gone home.

Day before yesterday morning,
God was looking down from his great, high heaven,
Looking down on all his children,
And his eye fell of Sister Caroline,
Tossing on her bed of pain.
And God's big heart was touched with pity,
With the everlasting pity.

And God sat back on his throne,
And he commanded that tall, bright angel standing at his right hand:
Call me Death!
And that tall, bright angel cried in a voice
That broke like a clap of thunder:
Call Death!--Call Death!
And the echo sounded down the streets of heaven
Till it reached away back to that shadowy place,
Where Death waits with his pale, white horses.

And Death heard the summons,
And he leaped on his fastest horse,
Pale as a sheet in the moonlight.
Up the golden street Death galloped,
And the hooves of his horses struck fire from the gold,
But they didn't make no sound.
Up Death rode to the Great White Throne,
And waited for God's command.

And God said: Go down, Death, go down,
Go down to Savannah, Georgia,
Down in Yamacraw,
And find Sister Caroline.
She's borne the burden and heat of the day,
She's labored long in my vineyard,
And she's tired--
She's weary--
Do down, Death, and bring her to me.

And Death didn't say a word,
But he loosed the reins on his pale, white horse,
And he clamped the spurs to his bloodless sides,
And out and down he rode,
Through heaven's pearly gates,
Past suns and moons and stars;
on Death rode,
Leaving the lightning's flash behind;
Straight down he came.

While we were watching round her bed,
She turned her eyes and looked away,
She saw what we couldn't see;
She saw Old Death.She saw Old Death
Coming like a falling star.
But Death didn't frighten Sister Caroline;
He looked to her like a welcome friend.
And she whispered to us: I'm going home,
And she smiled and closed her eyes.

And Death took her up like a baby,
And she lay in his icy arms,
But she didn't feel no chill.
And death began to ride again--
Up beyond the evening star,
Into the glittering light of glory,
On to the Great White Throne.
And there he laid Sister Caroline
On the loving breast of Jesus.

And Jesus took his own hand and wiped away her tears,
And he smoothed the furrows from her face,
And the angels sang a little song,
And Jesus rocked her in his arms,
And kept a-saying: Take your rest,
Take your rest.

Weep not--weep not,
She is not dead;
She's resting in the bosom of Jesus.


Comments about Go Down, Death by James Weldon Johnson

  • Silver Star - 3,919 Points Ovi-enita Odiete (9/29/2015 5:50:00 AM)

    Beautiful poetry and description.... (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie Grave Digger (1/3/2008 4:47:00 AM)

    This is one of my favorite poems, very strong, first heard it recited by Wintley Phipps, , very powerful (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Poems About Death

  1. 1. Let Me Die A Youngman's Death , Roger McGough
  2. 2. And Death Shall Have No Dominion , Dylan Thomas
  3. 3. Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  4. 4. Death Is Nothing At All , Henry Scott Holland
  5. 5. Because I Could Not Stop For Death , Emily Dickinson
  6. 6. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O.. , Dylan Thomas
  7. 7. Nothing But Death , Pablo Neruda
  8. 8. Father Death Blues , Allen Ginsberg
  9. 9. A Dream Of Death , William Butler Yeats
  10. 10. A Poet's Death Is His Life Iv , Khalil Gibran
  11. 11. A Death Blow Is A Life Blow To Some , Emily Dickinson
  12. 12. Angel Of Death (Death Death Death Dea.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  13. 13. Death Wants More Death , Charles Bukowski
  14. 14. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , William Butler Yeats
  15. 15. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner , Randall Jarrell
  16. 16. A City's Death By Fire , Derek Walcott
  17. 17. The Beauty Of Death Xiv , Khalil Gibran
  18. 18. After Death , Sara Teasdale
  19. 19. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An .. , Phillis Wheatley
  20. 20. Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  21. 21. Death Leaves Us Homesick, Who Behind , Emily Dickinson
  22. 22. On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea.. , Phillis Wheatley
  23. 23. First Death In Nova Scotia , Elizabeth Bishop
  24. 24. A Ballad Of Death , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  25. 25. Death Xxvii , Khalil Gibran
  26. 26. The Death Of Joy Gardner , Benjamin Zephaniah
  27. 27. Gacela Of The Dark Death , Federico García Lorca
  28. 28. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  29. 29. On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, , Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  30. 30. I Have A Rendezvous With Death , Alan Seeger
  31. 31. Death &Amp; Fame , Allen Ginsberg
  32. 32. On The Death Of Anne Brontë , Charlotte Brontë
  33. 33. Go Down, Death , James Weldon Johnson
  34. 34. On Death , Anne Killigrew
  35. 35. Death Fugue , Paul Celan
  36. 36. For The Anniversary Of My Death , William Stanley Merwin
  37. 37. Love &Amp; Fame &Amp; Death , Charles Bukowski
  38. 38. The Death Of The Hired Man , Robert Frost
  39. 39. On Hearing Of A Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  40. 40. Fugue Of Death , Paul Celan
  41. 41. Death , Heinrich Heine
  42. 42. If Death Is Kind , Sara Teasdale
  43. 43. As At Thy Portals Also Death , Walt Whitman
  44. 44. Death Is A Dialogue Between , Emily Dickinson
  45. 45. A Satirical Elegy On The Death Of A Late.. , Jonathan Swift
  46. 46. Death , William Butler Yeats
  47. 47. All But Death, Can Be Adjusted , Emily Dickinson
  48. 48. Death Sets A Thing Of Signigicant , Emily Dickinson
  49. 49. The Death Of The Flowers , William Cullen Bryant
  50. 50. Death Of A Cockroach , Robert William Service
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