Short Poems on Death


Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

- John Donne (2)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

- John Keats (1)

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

- Emily Dickinson (extract, The Chariot)

Although Death walks beside us on Life's road,
A dim bystander at the body's start
And a last judgment on man's futile works,
Other is the riddle of its ambiguous face:
Death is a stair, a door, a stumbling stride
The soul must take to cross from birth to birth,
A grey defeat pregnant with victory,

- Sri Aurobindo, Savitri- (3)

At last she spoke; her voice was heard by Night:
"I bow not to thee, O huge mask of death,
Black lie of night to the cowed soul of man,
Unreal, inescapable end of things,
Thou grim jest played with the immortal spirit.
Conscious of immortality I walk.

- Sri Aurobindo, Savitri - (4)

I know I will love death.
Because death too
Is God's creation
And because death reminds me
Of the existence of her sister:
Infinity's Life immortal.

- Sri Chinmoy (7)

Whatever dies really does not die.
We see it not;
We feel that it has died.
Death is only another shore
Of the Reality-sea.
Death is only another way
To God-Reality's Shore.

- Sri Chinmoy (7)

We fear death, the unknown.
Death fears us, the unknowable.
We fear death's necessity.
Death fears our Divinity.

- Sri Chinmoy (8)

Death is not the end. Death can never be the end.

Death is the road. Life is the traveller. The soul is the guide.

- Sri Chinmoy (5)


Let us return Home, let us go back,
Useless is this reckoning of seeking and getting,
Delight permeates all of today.
From the blue ocean of death
Life is flowing like nectar.
In life there is death; in death there is life.
So where is fear, where is fear?
The birds in the sky are singing “No death, no death!”
Day and night the tide of Immortality
Is descending here on earth.

- Phire Chalo (6)

A telling analogy for life and death:
Compare the two of them to water and ice.
Water draws together to become ice,
And ice disperses again to become water.
Whatever has died is sure to be born again;
Whatever is born comes around again to dying.
As ice and water do one another no harm,
So life and death, the two of them, are fine.

~ Han Shan


Other Poems on Death


(1) A Thing of Beauty (Endymion) Excerpt

(3) Book X The Book of the Double Twilight
Canto I The Dream Twilight of the Ideal - Savitri by Sri Aurobindo

(4) Book IX The Book of Eternal Night
Canto II The Journey in Eternal Night and the Voice of the Darkness - Savitri by Sri Aurobindo

(5) Excerpts from My Rose Petals, Part 1 by Sri Chinmoy

(6) Traditional Indian (1)

(7) Excerpt from Transcendence-Perfection by Sri Chinmoy

(8) Excerpt from God's Hour by Sri Chinmoy


Photo Top - Unmesh