Poem suitable for the funeral of an ex-matelot

Discussion in 'Films, Music, TV & All Things Artsy' started by soleil, Apr 1, 2009.

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  1. On another website, I've noticed someone asking for suggestions for a poem which he/she can read at his/her grandfather's funeral this week. As he was once in the mob, I thought I'd ask if anyone knew of a suitable poem they had heard used or could suggest.
  2. What about "Crossing the Bar" by Tennyson. Nice words and sea connotations.
  3. There's a great poem by R.A.Hopwood called "The old way",and it is about old ships and when they "die"and its great, and appropriate for old tars.
  4. The last verse to the poem I suggested is

    "And the waitingjibs are hoisted in the old way,
    As the guns begin to thunder down the line,
    Hear the silver trumpets calling in the old way,
    Over all the silken pennons float and shine.
    "Did you voyage all unspoken, small and lonely?
    Or with fame, the happy fortune of the few?
    So you win the golden harbour in the old way,
    And there's the old sea welcome waiting here for you".

    Its one I would not mind being given out when I turn in my station card.
    Can supply all of it if required.
  5. As for Hyms can't go wrong with "Eternal Father, strong to save"
  6. What is dying?

    I am standing on the sea shore.
    A ship at my side spreads her white
    sails to the morning breeze and starts
    for the blue ocean. She is an object
    of beauty and I stand
    and watch her until at last she
    fades on the horizon.

    Then someone at my side says
    "There she has gone" -
    gone where?
    Gone from my sight - that is all.
    She is just as large in the mast,
    hull and spars as she was
    when she left my side. The
    diminished size and total loss
    of sight is in me and not in her,
    and just at that moment when
    someone by my side says
    "She's gone" others on a distant
    shore take up
    the glad shout -
    "There she comes!"

    Bishop Brent
    Bishop of the Philippines
    1862 - 1929
  7. Nice one NG. I used that poem as part of the eulogy I gave at the funeral of one of my chefs who died suddenly onboard in '99. It is just so apt and I don't mind admitting that it was a struggle to get through it without cracking.
  8. (granny)

    (granny) Book Reviewer

    I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
    And the wheels kick and the winds song and the white sail's shaking,
    And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must go down to the sea again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.

    I must go down to the sea again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
    To the gull's way and the whales way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover,
    And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trips over.

    SEA FEVER. By John Masefield.

    This will do me.
  9. Yes its good but the trouble with "Sea fever" would be keeping my face straight through the reading as I know the lower deck "alternative version"
  10. Somewhere on one of these threads is a poem/ode penned by a poster and called 'Gone Way'

    I, unashamedly, had that read for my father, Royal Navy 1937-1961, at his funeral.

    Says it all.

    Should have read 'Gone Away' ... :oops:
  11. He was getting old and paunchy
    And his hair was falling fast,
    And he sat around the Legion,
    Telling stories of the past.
    Of a war that he had fought in
    And the deeds that he had done.
    In his exploits with his buddies;
    They were heroes, everyone.

    For when countries are in conflict,
    Then we find the Sailor's part,
    Is to clean up all the troubles,
    That the politicians start.
    If we cannot do him honor,
    While he's here to hear the praise,
    Then at least let's give him homage,
    At the ending of his days.
    Perhaps just a simple headline,
    In the paper that might say:


    'Nuff said.


  12. Nice one Jerry! (My bold) This should be the default one for today - hope Gordy can pull himself out of the sceptic's bum today long enough to read it.

    Personall, I like 'Stop the Clock' by Auden.
  13. For Jerry_Hatrick: I wish I had knowledge of that poem when my dad died mate, really apt for the occasion, the old boy was an ex Stoker PO on corvettes (V & W ships)...WW2..and my hero...
  14. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    There are lots of versions of this poem but I think it's worth putting up the original and crediting the poet:


    (A Soldier Died Today)

    by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

    He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,

    And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.

    Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,

    In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

    And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,

    All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.

    But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,

    And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

    He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,

    For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.

    Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,

    And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.

    When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,

    While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.

    Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,

    But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.

    Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land

    A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?

    Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,

    Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

    A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives

    Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.

    While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,

    Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

    It's so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,

    That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know

    It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,

    Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

    Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,

    Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?

    Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend

    His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

    He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,

    But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.

    For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part

    Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

    If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,

    Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.

    Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,

    Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.

    A. Lawrence Vaincourt

    Larry is alive and well and still writing poetry, you may want to visit his home page or buy one of his books: Lawrence Vaincourt's homepage (no I don't know him but I have read a lot of his work)
  15. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I Am Not Dead

    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 diamond glints of 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 encircled flight.
    I am the soft star that shines at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I am not there, I did not die.
  17. For Chieftiff: Many thanks for the info and it is still a brilliant poem...

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