21 Beautiful funeral poems for Dad

Funeral Planning
A man hugs his two daughters in front of a display of roses.

Losing a loved one is always difficult, but when that person is your dad, the pain can be especially sharp. If you're looking for a beautiful and meaningful poem to read at his funeral, there are so many to choose from, finding the right one can be overwhelming.

We've helped to make your job easier by sharing twenty-one of our favorite funeral poems for Dad. We hope they provide some comfort for you during this difficult time.


1. Happy the Man, by John Dryden

"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."


 2. If, by Rudyard Kipling

"If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!"


3. Daddy's Hands, by Holly Dunn

"I remember daddy´s hands, folded silently in prayer

And reachin' out to hold me, when I had a nightmare..."

Listen to "Daddy's Hands" here. 

4. Not How Did He Die, by Summer Sandercox

“Not how did he die, but how did he live?

Not what did he gain, but what did he give?

These are the units to measure the worth

Of a man as a man, regardless of birth."

Read the full poem here. 

5. He is Gone, by David Harkins

“You can shed tears that he is gone

Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back

Or you can open your eyes and see all he's left

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him

Or you can be full of the love you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday."

Read the full poem here. 

6. That Man is a Success, by Robert Louis Stevenson

“That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;

who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children;

who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;

who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or rescued soul;

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.”


7. A Poem for Dad, by J. Allen Shaw

“Dad, I am often told I am just like you.

I am honored beyond measure if that is true.

You were the best example of what a man should be.

I am overwhelmed that someone would say that of me.

I never told you enough, how proud I am to be called your son,

Now that you are gone, I want to tell everyone.

You gave me much more than a name,

Someday, I hope my son says the same.”


8. Dad, by Anonymous

“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

they’ll never be another one

to replace you in our hearts,

and the love we will always

have for you.”


9. Epitaph on a Friend, by Robert Burns

“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.”


10. Eternal Love, by Alan Owen

“The blue skies turn to grey.

No more stories.

You've gone away.

The echoes of your smile,

Your kindness, your love.

Everything that made life worthwhile

Crashed down like a dove.

But memories will never fade.

Like a light that guides me,

Your love, your beauty

Will always find me.”


11. Love Shines Through, by Anonymous

“Like a shadow in the moonlight

Like the whisper of the seas

Like the echoes of a melody

Just beyond our reach

In the shadow of our sorrow

Past the whisper of goodbye

Love shines through eternity

A heartbeat from our eye.”


12.  Afterglow, by Unknown

“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.”


13. 'Tis Better To Have Loved and Lost, by Alfred Lord Tennyson

"I envy not in any moods

The captive void of noble rage,

The linnet born within the cage,

That never knew the summer woods:

I envy not the beast that takes

His license in the field of time,

Unfetter'd by the sense of crime,

To whom a conscience never wakes;

Nor, what may count itself as blest,

  The heart that never plighted troth

  But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;

Nor any want-begotten rest.

I hold it true, whate'er befall;

I feel it, when I sorrow most;

'Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all."


14. Intimations of Immortality, by William Wordsworth

“What though the radiance which was once so bright

Be now forever taken from my sight,

Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind.”


15. Away, by James Whitcomb Riley

“If 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.”


16. Warm Summer Sun, by Mark Twain

“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.”


17. Life Lessons, by Joanna Fuchs

“You may have thought I didn’t see,

Or that I hadn’t heard,

Life lessons that you taught to me,

But I got every word."

Read the full poem here. 

18. In Her Eyes, by Michelle W. Emerson

“The depth of a father’s love shows in his daughter’s eyes.

What’s known is what’s shown from sunset to sunrise.

A foundation built on more than just what is spoken.

It’s commitments kept and promises that go unbroken."

Read the full poem here.


19. My Hero, by Anonymous

“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 Loving Father, by Anonymous

“God took the strength of a mountain & the majesty of a tree.

The warmth of a summer sun, the calm of a quiet sea.

The generous soul of nature & the comforting arm of night.

The wisdom of the ages and the power of the eagle’s flight,

The joy of a morning in spring & the faith of a mustard seed,

The patience of eternity & the depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,

When there was nothing more to add,

He knew His masterpiece was complete,

And so, He called it ... ‘DAD!’”


21. A Successful Man, by Bessie Stanley

“That man is a success

who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;

who has enjoyed the trust of pure women,

who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children."

Read the full poem here.