A Song of Living

Amelia Josephine Burr blogsevenpondscomwpcontentuploads201201ameA Song of Living, by Amelia Josephine Burr was the choice Paul Pritchard made for a poem about Easter to be read at Vespers in Eastertide. Paul writes: 

Amelia Josephine Burr (1878 – 1968) was an American poet born in New York City. She married Reverend Carl H. Elmore of Englewood, New Jersey. She was described as a “popular lyricist, whose work yet flashes with genuine poetic feeling”.

Her poem, A Song of Living, published in her book Life and Living, a book of verse in 1916 is not necessarily an Easter Poem; at least it was not written as such. Indeed, its usual place within the canon is the section on death and dying but for me it is as the title suggest, about living and when are we more alive as Christians than in the joy of Easter?

The sorrow of death is the portion of those left behind and does not belong to the dead. Each stanza of this poem brims with life, ending with the same line “Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die”.

For many, life is tough and for some it is tough beyond the comprehension of most of us but I hope that for everyone there are moments of love, moments of gladness, moments of peace; these are the promises of Easter, and we as Easter people are duty bound, through our care for each other, to be instruments of such promises.


A Song of Living by Amelia Josephine Burr

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.

I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.

My cheeks like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.


I have kissed young love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end,

I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.

I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well.

I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.


I gave a share of my soul to the world, when and where my course is run.

I know that another shall finish the task I surely must leave undone.

I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain on the path I trod.

As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God,

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.

About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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