Best Funeral Poems for Dad: 50 Beautiful Tributes

There is no one right thing to say at a funeral service. In some way, we’re all doing our best to express the jumble of feelings that surface with the loss of a father. One way of expressing those feelings is through poetry; and more specifically, funeral poems for dad.

The feelings you are experiencing can include heartache, sadness, regret, joy at his memory, humility and awe at his legacy, and perhaps some mixture of bitterness and respect, love and anger, longing and peace. 

Humankind has often turned to poetry to convey emotions such as these, and, too, for a sense of comfort and solace for those who grieve.

Sometimes a poem has that perfect turn of phrase that seems so fitting for a memorial service. Other times poetry can put words to life lessons, good judgment, the value of hard work, the strong foundation, all those different ways your dear father meant the world (and taught and modeled the world) to you.

The best funeral poems for your dad will honor his life and memory, celebrating his legacy and accomplishments while reflecting on what he meant to those he left behind. In so doing, the perfect poem is both very uniquely personalized to your father, yet also helps create a shared experience among those who have gathered to mourn and remember.

For these reasons, we hope this collection of funeral poetry will help you find the right words to memorialize a truly wonderful life.

Short Funeral Poems for Dad

Most eulogies permit space for a short funeral poem. Here are some of our favorites.

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funeral poems for dad about God's Garden

1. God’s Garden

God looked around his garden

And found an empty place.

He then looked down upon the earth,

And saw your tired face.

He put His arms around you

And lifted you to rest.

God’s garden must be beautiful,

He always takes the best.

He knew that you were suffering,

He knew that you were in pain.

He knew that you would never

Get well on earth again.

He saw the road was getting rough

And the hills were hard to climb.

So He closed your weary eyelids

And whispered “Peace be thine.”

It broke our hearts to lose you

But you did not go alone…

For part of us went with you

The day God called you home.


2. That Man Is a Success

That man is a success

who has lived well,

laughed often and loved much;

who has gained the respect of intelligent men and women

and the love of children;

who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;

who leaves the world better than he found it,

who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty

or failed to express it;

who looked for the best in others,

and gave the best he had.

Robert Louis Stevenson

3. If Tears Could Build a Stairway

But now I know you want me

to mourn for you no more;

To remember all the happy times

life still has much in store.

Since you’ll never be forgotten,

I pledge to you today

A hollowed place within my heart

is where you’ll always stay.


4. Hebrew Proverb

Say not in grief ‘he is no more’
but in thankfulness that he was.

5. A Mystery Play

The heart of God,

The worlds and man,

Are fashioned and moulded,

In a subtle plan;

Passion outsurges,

Sweeps far but converges:

Nothing is lost,

Sod or stone,

But comes to its own;

Bear well thy joy,

‘Tis mixed with alloy,

Bear well thy grief,

‘Tis a rich full sheaf:

Gather the souls that have passed in the night,

Theirs is the peace and the light.

Duncan Campbell Scott

6. Warm Summer Sun

Warm summer sun,

Shine kindly here,

Warm southern wind,

Blow softly here.

Green sod above,

Lie light, lie light.

Good night, dear heart,

Good night, good night.

Mark Twain

7. Hymn to God, My God, In My Sickness

We think that Paradise and Calvary,

Christ’s cross, and Adam’s tree, stood in one place;

Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;

As the first Adam’s sweat surrounds my face,

May the last Adam’s blood my soul embrace.

So, in his purple wrapp’d, receive me, Lord;

By these his thorns, give me his other crown;

And as to others’ souls I preach’d thy word,

Be this my text, my sermon to mine own:

“Therefore that he may raise, the Lord throws down.”

John Donne

8. Epitaph on a Friend

An honest man here lies at rest,

As e’er God and His image blest:

The friend of man, the friend of truth;

The friend of age, and guide of youth:

Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,

Few heads with knowledge so inform’d:

If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;

If there is none, he made the best of this.

Robert Burns

9. Those We Love

Those we love remain with us

For love itself lives on,

And cherished memories never fade

Because a loved one’s gone.

Those we love can never be

More than a thought apart,

Far as long as there is memory,

They’ll live on in the heart.


10. Immortality

From strength to strength advancing—only he,

His soul well-knit, and all his battles won,

Mounts, and that hardly, to eternal life.

Matthew Arnold

11. Death Leaves a Heartache

short, thoughtful funeral poems for dad

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,

love leaves a memory no one can steal.


Epitaph on a headstone in Ireland

12. A Psalm of Life

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

13. Irish Blessing

May the roads rise up to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

May the rains fall soft upon fields

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.


14. Silent Tear

Each night we shed a silent tear,

As we speak to you in prayer.

To let you know we love you,

And just how much we care.

Take our million teardrops,

Wrap them up in love,

Then ask the wind to carry them,

To you in heaven above.


15. At the Grave of the Forgotten

Who it was that rests below

Not earth’s wisest now may know,

Or can tell;

But these blossoms witness bear

They who laid the sleeper there

Loved him well.

Effie Waller Smith

Related: 70+ Beautiful Loss of Father Quotes

Funeral Poems for Dad from Daughters

Dads have a special place in their hearts for their daughters. Here are some poems to help you respond to that love.

funeral poems for dad about childhood

16. You Held My Hand

You held my hand when I was small

You caught me when I fell

You are the hero of my childhood

And my later years as well

And every time I think of you

My heart still fills with pride

Though I will always miss you Dad

I know you’re by my side

In laughter and in sorrow

In sunshine and in rain

I know you’re watching over me

Until we meet again.


17. To WP II

With you a part of me hath passed away;

For in the peopled forest of my mind

A tree made leafless by this wintry wind

Shall never don again its green array.

Chapel and fireside, country road and bay,

Have something of their friendliness resigned;

Another, if I would, I could not find,

And I am grown much older in a day.

But yet I treasure in my memory

Your gift of charity, your mellow ease,

And the dear honour of your amity;

For these once mine, my life is rich with these.

And I scarce know which part may greater be,—

What I keep of you, or you rob of me.


18. He Has Lived Well

He who has achieved success has lived well, laughed often and loved much

Bessie Anderson Stanley

19. My Hero

You held my hand when I was small

You caught me when I fell

You are the hero of my childhood

And my later years as well

And every time I think of you

My heart still fills with pride

Though I will always miss you Dad

I know you’re by my side

In laughter and in sorrow

In sunshine and in rain

I know you’re watching over me

Until we meet again.


20. Our Father Kept a Garden

Our Father kept a garden.

A garden of the heart;

He planted all the good things,

That gave our lives their start.

He turned us to the sunshine,

And encouraged us to dream:

Fostering and nurturing

The seeds of self-esteem.

And when the winds and rain came,

He protected us enough;

But not too much because he knew

We would stand up strong and tough.

His constant good example,

Always taught us right from wrong;

Markers for our pathway that will last a lifetime long.

We are our Fathers garden,

We are his legacy.

Thank you Dad, we love you.


Funeral Poems for Dad from Sons

Your dad is your best example for what it means to be a man. A good dad will shape his son’s character and outlook on life to an extraordinary degree. These poems help you express what his love, life, and example meant to you.

funeral poems for dad - Dad by Anonymous

21. Dad

We’ll always remember that special smile,

That caring heart, that warm embrace you always gave us.

You being there for Mom and us

through good and bad times, no matter what.

We’ll always remember you Dad because

there’ll never be another one to replace you in our hearts,

And the love we will always have for you.


22. A Loving Father

A loving father, tender and kind, what a beautiful memory you left behind


23. Happy The Man

Happy the man, and happy he alone,

He who can call today his own:

He who, secure within, can say,

Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

Be fair or foul or rain or shine

The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.

Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,

But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

John Dryden

24. Through Pain

O Joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to thee.

I trace the rainbow through the rain,

and feel the promise is not vain,

that morn shall tearless be.


25. Afterglow 

I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.

I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.

I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,

Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.

I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;

Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.


Best Scripture for Dad’s Funerals

For the man of faith, there’s no better epitaph than that of 2 Timothy 4:7, to say that he fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. Here are some Scripture passages that help you honor your father’s faith and love for the Lord.

funeral scriptures for father's service

26. Romans 8:38-39

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other [a]creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

27. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of them that are asleep. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in [a]Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; then they that are Christ’s, at his [b]coming.

28. 2 Samuel 7:14-15

I will be his father, and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but my lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

29. Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child [a]in the way he should go,

And even when he is old he will not depart from it.

30. Proverbs 4:1-4

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live.

31. Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

32. John 14

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

33. Romans 5:7-9

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.

34. Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

35. John 16:33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

More: 50+ Bible Verses for Funerals

Memorial Poems for Loving Fathers

There’s no one that can compare to a dad who always gave selfless, endless love to his children. These next poems celebrate the greatest gift: a man who was everything a father should be.

poem about him being in heaven

36. Away

I cannot say and I will not say

That he is dead, he is just away.

With a cheery smile and a wave of hand

He has wandered into an unknown land;

And left us dreaming how very fair

Its needs must be, since he lingers there.

And you-oh you, who the wildest yearn

From the old-time step and the glad return-

Think of him faring on, as dear

In the love of there, as the love of here

Think of him still the same way, I say;

He is not dead, he is just away.

James Whitcomb Riley

37. As We Look Back

We wonder if we ever thanked you

For the sacrifices you made

To let us have the very best?

And for the simple things

Like laughter, smiles and times we shared?

If we have forgotten to show our

Gratitude enough for all the things you did,

We’re thanking you now.

And we are hoping you knew all along,

How much you meant to us.


38. The Darker the Night

The darker the night,

The brighter the stars,

The deeper the grief,

The closer is God.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

39. I Come to Thee

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,

Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;

Into the joy and light of thy home,

Jesus, I come to thee.

Out of the depths of ruin untold,

Into the peace of thy sheltering fold,

Ever thy glorious face to behold,

Jesus, I come to thee.

William Sleeper

40. Immortality

Do not stand

By my grave, and weep.

I am not there,

I do not sleep—

I am the thousand winds that blow

I am the diamond glints in snow

I am the sunlight on ripened grain,

I am the gentle, autumn rain.

As you awake with morning’s hush,

I am the swift, up-flinging rush

Of quiet birds in circling flight,

I am the day transcending night.

Do not stand

By my grave, and cry—

I am not there,

I did not die.

Clare Harner

41. Alive

Because you live, though out of sight and reach,

I will, so help me God, live bravely too,

Taking the road with laughter and gay speech,

Alert, intent to give life all its due.

I will delight my soul with many things,

The humours of the street and books and plays,

Great rocks and waves winnowed by seagulls’ wings,

Star-jewelled Winter nights, gold harvest days.

I will for your sake praise what I have missed,

The sweet content of long-united lives,

The sunrise joy of lovers who have kissed,

Children with flower-faces, happy wives.

And last I will praise Death who gives anew

Brave life adventurous and love—and you.

Winifred M. Letts

42. How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Browning

43. Since Feeling is First

we are for each other: then

laugh, leaning back in my arms

for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

E.E. Cummings

44. Consolation

He has but turned the corner — still

He pushes on with right good will,

Through mire and marsh, by heugh and hill,

That self-same arduous way —

That self-same upland, hopeful way,

That you and he through many a doubtful day

Attempted still.

He is not dead, this friend — not dead,

But in the path we mortals tread

Got some few, trifling steps ahead

And nearer to the end;

So that you too, once past the bend,

Shall meet again, as face to face, this friend

You fancy dead.

Robert Louis Stevenson

45. O Cross

O Cross that liftest up my head,

I dare not ask to fly from thee.

I lay in dust, life’s glory dead,

and from the ground there blossoms red,

life that shall endless be.

George Matheson

46. An Autograph

“Age brought him no despairing

Of the world’s future faring;

In human nature still

He found more good than ill.

“To all who dumbly suffered,

His tongue and pen he offered;

His life was not his own,

Nor lived for self alone.

“Hater of din and riot

He lived in days unquiet;

And, lover of all beauty,

Trod the hard ways of duty.

“He meant no wrong to any

He sought the good of many,

Yet knew both sin and folly,—

May God forgive him wholly!”

John Greenleaf Whittier

47. Free

Our love for you echoes

Throughout eternity

And sings along with those

With whom you now are free


48. Paradise

If God hath made this world so fair

Where sin and death abound,

How beautiful beyond compare

Will paradise be found.

James Montgomery

49. Thought of Death

once scorned ev’ry fearful thought of death,

When it was but the end of pulse and breath,

But now my eyes have seen that past the pain

There is a world that’s waiting to be claimed.

Earthmaker, Holy, let me now depart,

For living’s such a temporary art.

And dying is but getting dressed for God,

Our graves are merely doorways cut in sod.

Calvin Miller

50. My Knowledge

My knowledge of that life is small,

   The eye of faith is dim,

But it’s enough that Christ knows all,

   And I shall be with him.

Richard Baxter

More Poems for Dad’s Funeral

We’ll close with a few additional works that are often read at funerals, memorials, and celebration of life services.


He never made a fortune, or a noise

In the world where men are seeking after fame; 

But he had a healthy brood of girls and boys

Who loved the very ground on which he trod.

They thought him just little short of God; 

Oh you should have heard the way they said his name —


There seemed to be a loving little prayer

In their voices, even when they called him ‘Dad.’

Though the man was never heard of anywhere, 

As a hero, yet somehow understood

He was doing well his part and making good; 

And you knew it, by the way his children had

Of saying ‘Father.’

He gave them neither eminence nor wealth, 

But he gave them blood untainted with a vice, 

And opulence of undiluted health.

He was honest, and unpurchasable and kind; 

He was clean in heart, and body, and in mind.

So he made them heirs to riches without price —

This father.

He never preached or scolded; and the rod —

Well, he used it as a turning pole in play.

But he showed the tender sympathy of God.

To his children in their troubles, and their joys.

He was always chum and comrade with his boys, 

And his daughters — oh, you ought to hear them say


Now I think of all achievements ‘tis the least

To perpetuate the species; it is done

By the insect and the serpent, and the beast.

But the man who keeps his body, and his thought, 

Worth bestowing on an offspring love-begot, 

Then the highest earthly glory he was won, 

When in pride a grown-up daughter or a son

Says ‘That’s Father.’

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

If I Should Go

If I should go before the rest of you,

Break not a flower, nor inscribe a stone,

Nor when I’m gone speak in a Sunday voice,

But be the usual selves that I have known.

Weep if you must,

Parting is hell,

But life goes on,

So sing as well.

Joyce Grenfell

Ode to the Memory of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw

Thou hast taught us how to live,

O! Not in vain

Thou hast died, nor borne in vain

Thy part and lot

In this sad day, as shadows cast

By cloud and sunbeam, flit or fast.

God’s grace and man’s

Dauntless stood, our brothers stood,

And, facing death, did what man could,

For manhood’s sake and duty’s.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Only Yesterday

Only yesterday we were together in a dream,

And now you are gone, my dear one, it seems.

Yet I feel your presence, your love so near,

In the memories we shared, forever held dear.

Only yesterday we laughed and we cried,

We walked hand in hand, side by side.

Now I walk alone, in the shadow of grief,

But your love, like a light, offers me relief.

Only yesterday your smile lit up the room,

Your voice like music, banishing all gloom.

Though you’re not here, your spirit remains,

In the hearts of those left, where love sustains.

Only yesterday we whispered our goodbyes,

But in my heart, your love never dies.

For you are with me, in every breath I take,

Until we meet again, beyond this earthly wake.

Christina Rossetti

Read Next: How to Write a Tribute for Dad

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Daniel Szczesniak

Daniel has been working in the funeral industry since 2010, speaking directly to grieving families as they made funeral arrangements. He began researching and publishing funeral articles on this website as part of his role as product and marketing manager...

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