Poems of Death for All Hallows Eve

Ghede Skull Altar

This All Hallows Eve or Samhain I am posting some poems and invocations about Death and the Dark God of Death from various poets Christian and Pagan. Blessed Be to our dear departed witches, family members and pets.

I have also published at my other blog the Rite of Passage from the Coven of the Catta Books of Shadows.

Poems of Death for All Hallows Eve;


The Sonnets

By William Shakespeare

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.


A Better Resurrection

By Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

I have no wit, no words, no tears;

My heart within me like a stone

Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;

Look right, look left, I dwell alone;

I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief

No everlasting hills I see;

My life is in the falling leaf:

O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a faded leaf,

My harvest dwindled to a husk:

Truly my life is void and brief

And tedious in the barren dusk;

My life is like a frozen thing,

No bud nor greenness can I see:

Yet rise it shall–the sap of Spring;

O Jesus, rise in me.

My life is like a broken bowl,

A broken bowl that cannot hold

One drop of water for my soul

Or cordial in the searching cold;

Cast in the fire the perish’d thing;

Melt and remould it, till it be

A royal cup for Him, my King:

O Jesus, drink of me.



By Christina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more, day by day,

You tell me of our future that you planned:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.


The Witch’s Farewell

By Victor Anderson

The Mighty One approaches, yet I have no fear

Save only that which nature dignifies.

To cling to life is good, and honorable the tear

By which I bless the ruin that about me lies.

An awesome presence fills the room and Lo,

The Might One is here!

There is a blood-red glory pulsing darkly bright

Where on His forehead gleams the jewel of power.

His great, black wings cast shadows

where there is no light.

Yet in His hand He holds a lovely snow-white flower

Plucked where immortal golden apples grow,

In Mari’s silver bower.

Farewell, dear friends and loved ones.

I must take my leave to wander

through the Summerland a while.

Think not of me as dead when you have ceased to grieve;

I shall grow young again beneath Her radiant smile

That floods all Heaven with a moon-day glow

Where age cannot defile.


The Death Blessing

Translated from the Carmina Gadelica by Mike Nichols

(The one who chants the blessing is called the ‘soul-friend’, and is held is special affection by the friends of the dying person ever after.)

Goddess, initiate this woman (man) into thy Grand Coven, Remember the many blessings which she (he) in the body cast,

That we cannot this night enumerate.

The many blessings that she (he) in the body cast,

That we cannot this night enumerate.

Be this spirit to thy hand, O Lady,

Thou Queen of the realm of Faery,

So mote it be.

Since thou it was, O Lady, who did birth this spirit,

Be its peace in thine own keeping.

So mote it be.

And be the strong Nuada, high king of the Tuatha,

Preparing the path before this spirit, O Goddess.

So mote it be.

And be the strong Lugh coming to meet the spirit,

And leading it home, to the Land of the Ever-Living Ones.

So mote it be.


Invocation of the God

By Gerald Gardner

Dread Lord of Shadows,

God of Life,

And Giver of Life –

Yet is the knowledge of thee,

The knowledge of Death.

Open wide, I pray thee,

The Gates through which all must pass.

Let our dear ones who have gone before

Return this night to make merry with us.

And when our time comes, as it must,

O thou the Comforter,

The Consoler,

The Giver of Peace and Rest,

We will enter thy realms gladly and unafraid;

For we know that when rested and refreshed

among our dear ones

We will be reborn again by thy grace,

And the grace of the Great Mother.

Let it be in the same place and the same time

as our beloved ones,

And may we meet, and know, and remember,

And love them again.

Descend, we pray thee, in thy servant and priest.


God and Goddess of Death Chant

By Lois Bourne

I am the God who waits. In the end of the year, in the dark of life, at the end of the lane where no birds sing, there will you rest again in my hand. Be fearless to look upon my death’s head, for I have other face’s and another hand to give again that which I take. Come gladly when I call, The Great Mother holds my promise and no thieves shall steal from you, nor evil ones harm you as you sleep…in my hand. Remember  you trusted me in the Spring-green child places…finding enchantment,  found me merry in Summer attendance when you wed, feared not to meet me in the Autumn forest hunt. Shrink not from me in the Winter snow. Have you not seen the return of Life to the earth, safe from my keeping? Will I do less for you? I am the great Lord of Death who waits for you. Have faith in life and trust in me.

Hear thou the words of Annis the Great One; for it is I, and none but I, that is Queen of all living, and it is through my will that all live or die. I am the Laughing Maiden, the Loving Mother, and the Black Hag of Death. I am the Three and the One. Listen to my words. For it is I, and none but I, that wakens that desire which uses all of a man and a woman and so wastes nothing, even though it leave the flavored like wan ashes in the sunlight. I smile, and the radiance of moonlight is everywhere. For there is no power like My power, and no living thing can withstand My power, and those who deride Me are but dead dry husks that the wind moves with hissing noises. For I am the anticipation, I am the fulfillment, I am the pain, I am the pleasure, I am all love, I am all life, and I am all death. Hear My words, My children, worship and be glad, for if you seek Me I am with you always. I was with you in the beginning, and I shall be with you at the end.


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