Elizabeth Taylor was laid to rest Thursday in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles in a small private ceremony attended by her children, grandchildren, and selected close friends. By her request, she was 15 minutes late for her own funeral.
Taylor converted to Judaism before her 1959 wedding to Eddie Fisher. Jewish tradition for funerals call for burial within 24 hours, hence her funeral taking place so promptly after her death on Wednesday. She was married eight times to seven husbands throughout her life.
Taylor’s casket was closed and draped with gardenias, violets, and lily of the valley. She was interred in The Great Mausoleum, the same resting place for her longtime friend Michael Jackson. Forest Lawn Cemetery is also the final resting place of many other celebrities, including Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, W.C. Fields, Red Skelton, Gracie Allen, and Nat King Cole.
Actor Colin Farrell, a close friend of Taylor’s, gave a reading of a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo.” Her son Michael Wilding, her daughter Liza and her grandson Tarquin Wilding, also gave readings, according to People magazine. Her grandson Rhys Tivey performed a trumpet solo of “Amazing Grace.”
Here is the poem, “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo,” written by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89).
The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo
THE LEADEN ECHO
How to keep—is there any any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, lace, latch or catch or key to keep
Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, … from vanishing away?
O is there no frowning of these wrinkles, ranked wrinkles deep,
Down? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still messengers, sad and stealing messengers of grey?
No there ’s none, there ’s none, O no there ’s none,
Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair,
Do what you may do, what, do what you may,
And wisdom is early to despair:
Be beginning; since, no, nothing can be done
To keep at bay
Age and age’s evils, hoar hair,
Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death’s worst, winding sheets, tombs and worms and tumbling to decay;
So be beginning, be beginning to despair.
O there ’s none; no no no there ’s none:
Be beginning to despair, to despair,
Despair, despair, despair, despair.
THE GOLDEN ECHO
There is one, yes I have one (Hush there!);
Only not within seeing of the sun,
Not within the singeing of the strong sun,
Tall sun’s tingeing, or treacherous the tainting of the earth’s air,
Somewhere elsewhere there is ah well where! one,
One. Yes I can tell such a key, I do know such a place,
Where whatever’s prized and passes of us, everything that ’s fresh and fast flying of us, seems to us sweet of us and swiftly away with, done away with, undone,
Undone, done with, soon done with, and yet dearly and dangerously sweet
Of us, the wimpled-water-dimpled, not-by-morning-matched face,
The flower of beauty, fleece of beauty, too too apt to, ah! to fleet,
Never fleets more, fastened with the tenderest truth
To its own best being and its loveliness of youth: it is an everlastingness of, O it is an all youth!
Come then, your ways and airs and looks, locks, maiden gear, gallantry and gaiety and grace,
Winning ways, airs innocent, maiden manners, sweet looks, loose locks, long locks, lovelocks, gaygear, going gallant, girlgrace—
Resign them, sign them, seal them, send them, motion them with breath,
And with sighs soaring, soaring sighs deliver
Them; beauty-in-the-ghost, deliver it, early now, long before death
Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty’s self and beauty’s giver.
See; not a hair is, not an eyelash, not the least lash lost; every hair
Is, hair of the head, numbered.
Nay, what we had lighthanded left in surly the mere mould
Will have waked and have waxed and have walked with the wind what while we slept,
This side, that side hurling a heavyheaded hundredfold
What while we, while we slumbered.
O then, weary then why
When the thing we freely forfeit is kept with fonder a care,
Fonder a care kept than we could have kept it, kept
Far with fonder a care (and we, we should have lost it) finer, fonder
A care kept.—Where kept? Do but tell us where kept, where.—
Yonder.—What high as that! We follow, now we follow.—Yonder, yes yonder, yonder,