DEATH  is  nothing at all .......

DEATH is nothing at all.  I have

only slipped away into the next room.

I am I, and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other,

that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,

speak to me in the easy way which

you always used.  Put no difference

in your tone, wear no forced air

of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the

little jokes we enjoyed together.

Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word

that it always was, let it be spoken without effect,

without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same as it ever was;

there is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval,

somewhere very near, just around the corner......

All is well......

Harry Scott Holland
Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral





Close she flutters

Strangely close

And in my heart I know …

Light as breath

She skims away

Across the rippling surface

Of the lake,

Strands of silk


She weaves and casts,

To tug and catch

My heart as now

She swoops again.

And I am leaden,


Cannot follow

This dancing calling


O, Emma …. Emma … Emma …

Close I hold you

Yet cannot keep you

I watch your eyes, your lovely eyes

And see their deeps

Becoming clear

And freed of pain:

Opal clear

The silken strands are all spun now

I hold you still

And cannot breathe

For in my heart I know

That I can only watch

And let your spirit and your soul

Be gathered

By the White Swallow

And I am left behind.


High moon and frost-silver night conspire

To set him free; his spirit

Yearns, and wanders.

He does not need, nor want,

The secure dark cave. His bed

Is empty.

Let me be free, let me search;

Perhaps tonight he will find her,

And for a time, those two spirits

Will mesh again in perfect


O, those deep deep eyes

Which gaze so steadily, so longingly,

So lovingly.

So full of love,

And pain.

Why is it that the deepest love

Brings with it the deepest pain?

9th July 1993