Death Poems - Poems For Death

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The Death Of The Flowers - Poem by William Cullen Bryant

The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sere.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread;
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day.

Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood
In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?
Alas! they all are in their graves, the gentle race of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours.
The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain
Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again.

The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long ago,
And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
But on the hills the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
And the yellow sun-flower by the brook in autumn beauty stood,
Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and glen.

And now, when comes the calm mild day, as still such days will come,
To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home;
When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are still,
And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill,
The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore,
And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.

And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died,
The fair meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side.
In the cold moist earth we laid her, when the forests cast the leaf,
And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief:
Yet not unmeet it was that one, like that young friend of ours,
So gentle and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.


Comments about The Death Of The Flowers by William Cullen Bryant

  • Rookie Janet reick (9/13/2019 2:30:00 PM)

    When I was in high school 60 years ago we had to memorize the 1st stanza of this poem. I still remember it. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Gold Star - 221,891 Points Chinedu Dike (8/30/2019 10:16:00 AM)

    Well expressed thoughts and feelings., ................................................................... (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie baller (5/18/2018 11:27:00 PM)

    the poem was ballin. This poem was like 5 seconds left on the clock down by 2 dish it out to Kobe fade away three, swish. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Rookie Viking Thrice (12/31/2013 11:19:00 PM)

    My quotation marks around the passage cited in the second sentence and around the other poem cited were both deleted, for some reason. (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rookie Viking Thrice (12/31/2013 11:15:00 PM)

    The most beautiful elegy I've ever read. The one who in her youthful beauty died was Bryant's little sister, apparently succumbing in the autumn. There's another poem of his entitled Consumption, which we now call tuberculosis. I wonder if that was also intended for her? (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
Death Poems
  1. 51. The Death Of The Flowers
    William Cullen Bryant
  2. 52. A Baby's Death
    Algernon Charles Swinburne
  3. 53. On Death
    Percy Bysshe Shelley
  4. 54. The Death-Bed
    Siegfried Sassoon
  5. 55. Death Of A Cockroach
    Robert William Service
  6. 56. Don'T Fear Death
    Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok
  7. 57. On The Death Of A Youn Gentleman
    Phillis Wheatley
  8. 58. Enemy Of Death
    Salvatore Quasimodo
  9. 59. Death The Leveller
    James Shirley
  10. 60. The Death Of Autumn
    Edna St. Vincent Millay
  11. 61. The Dance Of Death
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  12. 62. Death Is A Dialogue Between
    Emily Dickinson
  13. 63. An Elegy On The Death Of A Mad Dog
    Oliver Goldsmith
  14. 64. Death And His Brother Sleep (‘morphine’)
    Heinrich Heine
  15. 65. Sonnet 66: Tired With All These, For Res..
    William Shakespeare
  16. 66. The Morning That Death Was Killed
    Steve Turner
  17. 67. Bereavement In Their Death To Feel
    Emily Dickinson
  18. 68. On The Death Of Rev. Mr. George Whitefield
    Phillis Wheatley
  19. 69. O Death, O Death, Rock Me Asleep
    Anonymous
  20. 70. Death Of A Poet
    Ronald Stuart Thomas
  21. 71. Passing On (Death Death Death Death De..
    Udiah (witness to Yah)
  22. 72. Extempore Effusion Upon The Death Of Jam..
    William Wordsworth
  23. 73. Death Is Here And Death Is There
    Percy Bysshe Shelley
  24. 74. Death, Death And Death
    abhimanyu kumar.s
  25. 75. Ode On The Death Of A Favourite Cat Drow..
    Thomas Gray
  26. 76. Death Sets A Thing Of Signigicant
    Emily Dickinson
  27. 77. Hymns To The Night : 6 : Longing For Death
    Novalis
  28. 78. Death Snips Proud Men
    Carl Sandburg
  29. 79. For Death—or Rather
    Emily Dickinson
  30. 80. Apparent Death
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  31. 81. A Death - Scene
    Emily Jane Brontë
  32. 82. To A Lady On The Death Of Her Husband
    Phillis Wheatley
  33. 83. The Death Of Santa Claus
    Charles Harper Webb
  34. 84. Death, That Struck When I Was Most Confi..
    Emily Jane Brontë
  35. 85. Death Is Potential To That Man
    Emily Dickinson
  36. 86. To The Honourable T. H. Esq; On The Deat..
    Phillis Wheatley
  37. 87. On The Death Of Dr. Samuel Marshall
    Phillis Wheatley
  38. 88. The Death And Last Confession Of Wanderi..
    Hilaire Belloc
  39. 89. On The Death Of Friends In Childhood
    Donald Justice
  40. 90. Whispers Of Heavenly Death
    Walt Whitman
  41. 91. On The Death Of Mr. Robert Levet, A Prac..
    Samuel Johnson
  42. 92. No. 101 (On His Brother's Death)
    Gaius Valerius Catullus
  43. 93. Death Of A Believer
    Rudyard Kipling
  44. 94. A Poem About George Doty In The Death Ho..
    James Arlington Wright
  45. 95. Death
    Thomas Hood
  46. 96. Love And Death
    Sara Teasdale
  47. 97. On The Death Of The Rev. Dr. Sewell, 1769
    Phillis Wheatley
  48. 98. Death
    James Henry Leigh Hunt
  49. 99. Death
    Bill Knott
  50. 100. In Memoriam 82: I Wage Not Any Feud With..
    Alfred Lord Tennyson

Death Poems

  1. On Death

    The pale, the cold, and the moony smile Which the meteor beam of a starless night Sheds on a lonely and sea-girt isle, Ere the dawning of morn's undoubted light, Is the flame of life so fickle and wan That flits round our steps till their strength is gone. O man! hold thee on in courage of soul Through the stormy shades of thy wordly way, And the billows of clouds that around thee roll Shall sleep in the light of a wondrous day, Where hell and heaven shall leave thee free To the universe of destiny. This world is the nurse of all we know, This world is the mother of all we feel, And the coming of death is a fearful blow To a brain unencompass'd by nerves of steel: When all that we know, or feel, or see, Shall pass like an unreal mystery. The secret things of the grave are there, Where all but this frame must surely be, Though the fine-wrought eye and the wondrous ear No longer will live, to hear or to see All that is great and all that is strange In the boundless realm of unending change. Who telleth a tale of unspeaking death? Who lifteth the veil of what is to come? Who painteth the shadows that are beneath The wide-winding caves of the peopled tomb? Or uniteth the hopes of what shall be With the fears and the love for that which we see?

  2. The Death-Bed

    He drowsed and was aware of silence heaped Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls; Aqueous like floating rays of amber light, Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep. Silence and safety; and his mortal shore Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death. Someone was holding water to his mouth. He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot The opiate throb and ache that was his wound. Water—calm, sliding green above the weir. Water—a sky-lit alley for his boat, Bird- voiced, and bordered with reflected flowers And shaken hues of summer; drifting down, He dipped contented oars, and sighed, and slept. Night, with a gust of wind, was in the ward, Blowing the curtain to a glimmering curve. Night. He was blind; he could not see the stars Glinting among the wraiths of wandering cloud; Queer blots of colour, purple, scarlet, green, Flickered and faded in his drowning eyes. Rain—he could hear it rustling through the dark; Fragrance and passionless music woven as one; Warm rain on drooping roses; pattering showers That soak the woods; not the harsh rain that sweeps Behind the thunder, but a trickling peace, Gently and slowly washing life away. He stirred, shifting his body; then the pain Leapt like a prowling beast, and gripped and tore His groping dreams with grinding claws and fangs. But someone was beside him; soon he lay Shuddering because that evil thing had passed. And death, who'd stepped toward him, paused and stared. Light many lamps and gather round his bed. Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live. Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet. He's young; he hated War; how should he die When cruel old campaigners win safe through? But death replied: 'I choose him.' So he went, And there was silence in the summer night; Silence and safety; and the veils of sleep. Then, far away, the thudding of the guns.

  3. Death Of A Cockroach

    I opened wide the bath-room door, And all at once switched on the light, When moving swift across the floor I saw a streak of ebon bright: Then quick, with slipper in my hand, Before it could escape,--I slammed. I missed it once, I missed it twice, But got it ere it gained its lair. I fear my words were far from nice, Though d----s with me are rather rare: Then lo! I thought that dying roach Regarded me with some reproach. Said I: "Don't think I grudge you breath; I hate to spill your greenish gore, But why did you invite your death By straying on my bath-room floor?" "It is because," said he (or she), "Adventure is my destiny. "By evolution I was planned, And marvellously made as you; And I am led to understand The selfsame God conceived us two: Sire, though the coup de grâce you give, Even a roach has right to live." Said I: "Of course you have a right,-- But not to blot my bath-room floor. Yet though with slipper I may smite, Your doom I morally deplore . . . From cellar gloom to stellar space Let bards and beetles have their place.

  4. A Baby's Death

    A little soul scarce fledged for earth Takes wing with heaven again for goal Even while we hailed as fresh from birth A little soul. Our thoughts ring sad as bells that toll, Not knowing beyond this blind world's girth What things are writ in heaven's full scroll. Our fruitfulness is there but dearth, And all things held in time's control Seem there, perchance, ill dreams, not worth A little soul. The little feet that never trod Earth, never strayed in field or street, What hand leads upward back to God The little feet? A rose in June's most honied heat, When life makes keen the kindling sod, Was not so soft and warm and sweet. Their pilgrimage's period A few swift moons have seen complete Since mother's hands first clasped and shod The little feet. The little hands that never sought Earth's prizes, worthless all as sands, What gift has death, God's servant, brought The little hands? We ask: but love's self silent stands, Love, that lends eyes and wings to thought To search where death's dim heaven expands. Ere this, perchance, though love know nought, Flowers fill them, grown in lovelier lands, Where hands of guiding angels caught The little hands. The little eyes that never knew Light other than of dawning skies, What new life now lights up anew The little eyes? Who knows but on their sleep may rise Such light as never heaven let through To lighten earth from Paradise? No storm, we know, may change the blue Soft heaven that haply death descries No tears, like these in ours, bedew The little eyes. Was life so strange, so sad the sky, So strait the wide world's range, He would not stay to wonder why Was life so strange? Was earth's fair house a joyless grange Beside that house on high Whence Time that bore him failed to estrange? That here at once his soul put by All gifts of time and change, And left us heavier hearts to sigh 'Was life so strange?' Angel by name love called him, seeing so fair The sweet small frame; Meet to be called, if ever man's child were, Angel by name. Rose-bright and warm from heaven's own heart he came, And might not bear The cloud that covers earth's wan face with shame. His little light of life was all too rare And soft a flame: Heaven yearned for him till angels hailed him there Angel by name. The song that smiled upon his birthday here Weeps on the grave that holds him undefiled Whose loss makes bitterer than a soundless tear The song that smiled. His name crowned once the mightiest ever styled Sovereign of arts, and angel: fate and fear Knew then their master, and were reconciled. But we saw born beneath some tenderer sphere Michael, an angel and a little child, Whose loss bows down to weep upon his bier The song that smiled.

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