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Best Famous Amy Lowell Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Amy Lowell poems. This is a select list of the best famous Amy Lowell poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Amy Lowell poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Amy Lowell poems.

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Written by Amy Lowell |

Sunshine through a Cobwebbed Window

 What charm is yours, you faded old-world tapestries,
Of outworn, childish mysteries,
Vague pageants woven on a web of dream!
And we, pushing and fighting in the turbid stream
Of modern life, find solace in your tarnished broideries.
Old lichened halls, sun-shaded by huge cedar-trees, The layered branches horizontal stretched, like Japanese Dark-banded prints.
Carven cathedrals, on a sky Of faintest colour, where the gothic spires fly And sway like masts, against a shifting breeze.
Worm-eaten pages, clasped in old brown vellum, shrunk From over-handling, by some anxious monk.
Or Virgin's Hours, bright with gold and graven With flowers, and rare birds, and all the Saints of Heaven, And Noah's ark stuck on Ararat, when all the world had sunk.
They soothe us like a song, heard in a garden, sung By youthful minstrels, on the moonlight flung In cadences and falls, to ease a queen, Widowed and childless, cowering in a screen Of myrtles, whose life hangs with all its threads unstrung.

Written by Amy Lowell |


 I know a country laced with roads,
They join the hills and they span the brooks,
They weave like a shuttle between broad fields,
And slide discreetly through hidden nooks.
They are canopied like a Persian dome And carpeted with orient dyes.
They are myriad-voiced, and musical, And scented with happiest memories.
O Winding roads that I know so well, Every twist and turn, every hollow and hill! They are set in my heart to a pulsing tune Gay as a honey-bee humming in June.
'T is the rhythmic beat of a horse's feet And the pattering paws of a sheep-dog bitch; 'T is the creaking trees, and the singing breeze, And the rustle of leaves in the road-side ditch.
A cow in a meadow shakes her bell And the notes cut sharp through the autumn air, Each chattering brook bears a fleet of leaves Their cargo the rainbow, and just now where The sun splashed bright on the road ahead A startled rabbit quivered and fled.
O Uphill roads and roads that dip down! You curl your sun-spattered length along, And your march is beaten into a song By the softly ringing hoofs of a horse And the panting breath of the dogs I love.
The pageant of Autumn follows its course And the blue sky of Autumn laughs above.
And the song and the country become as one, I see it as music, I hear it as light; Prismatic and shimmering, trembling to tone, The land of desire, my soul's delight.
And always it beats in my listening ears With the gentle thud of a horse's stride, With the swift-falling steps of many dogs, Following, following at my side.
O Roads that journey to fairyland! Radiant highways whose vistas gleam, Leading me on, under crimson leaves, To the opaline gates of the Castles of Dream.

Written by Amy Lowell |


 Happiness, to some, elation;
Is, to others, mere stagnation.
Days of passive somnolence, At its wildest, indolence.
Hours of empty quietness, No delight, and no distress.
Happiness to me is wine, Effervescent, superfine.
Full of tang and fiery pleasure, Far too hot to leave me leisure For a single thought beyond it.
Drunk! Forgetful! This the bond: it Means to give one's soul to gain Life's quintessence.
Even pain Pricks to livelier living, then Wakes the nerves to laugh again, Rapture's self is three parts sorrow.
Although we must die to-morrow, Losing every thought but this; Torn, triumphant, drowned in bliss.
Happiness: We rarely feel it.
I would buy it, beg it, steal it, Pay in coins of dripping blood For this one transcendent good.

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Written by Amy Lowell |

A Ballad of Footmen

 Now what in the name of the sun and the stars
Is the meaning of this most unholy of wars?
Do men find life so full of humour and joy
That for want of excitement they smash up the toy?
Fifteen millions of soldiers with popguns and horses
All bent upon killing, because their "of courses"
Are not quite the same.
All these men by the ears, And nine nations of women choking with tears.
It is folly to think that the will of a king Can force men to make ducks and drakes of a thing They value, and life is, at least one supposes, Of some little interest, even if roses Have not grown up between one foot and the other.
What a marvel bureaucracy is, which can smother Such quite elementary feelings, and tag A man with a number, and set him to wag His legs and his arms at the word of command Or the blow of a whistle! He's certainly damned, Fit only for mince-meat, if a little gold lace And an upturned moustache can set him to face Bullets, and bayonets, and death, and diseases, Because some one he calls his Emperor, pleases.
If each man were to lay down his weapon, and say, With a click of his heels, "I wish you Good-day," Now what, may I ask, could the Emperor do? A king and his minions are really so few.
Angry? Oh, of course, a most furious Emperor! But the men are so many they need not mind his temper, or The dire results which could not be inflicted.
With no one to execute sentence, convicted Is just the weak wind from an old, broken bellows.
What lackeys men are, who might be such fine fellows! To be killing each other, unmercifully, At an order, as though one said, "Bring up the tea.
" Or is it that tasting the blood on their jaws They lap at it, drunk with its ferment, and laws So patiently builded, are nothing to drinking More blood, any blood.
They don't notice its stinking.
I don't suppose tigers do, fighting cocks, sparrows, And, as to men -- what are men, when their marrows Are running with blood they have gulped; it is plain Such excellent sport does not recollect pain.
Toll the bells in the steeples left standing.
Half-mast The flags which meant order, for order is past.
Take the dust of the streets and sprinkle your head, The civilization we've worked for is dead.
Squeeze into this archway, the head of the line Has just swung round the corner to `Die Wacht am Rhein'.

Written by Amy Lowell |

New York at Night

 A near horizon whose sharp jags
Cut brutally into a sky
Of leaden heaviness, and crags
Of houses lift their masonry
Ugly and foul, and chimneys lie
And snort, outlined against the gray
Of lowhung cloud.
I hear the sigh The goaded city gives, not day Nor night can ease her heart, her anguished labours stay.
Below, straight streets, monotonous, From north and south, from east and west, Stretch glittering; and luminous Above, one tower tops the rest And holds aloft man's constant quest: Time! Joyless emblem of the greed Of millions, robber of the best Which earth can give, the vulgar creed Has seared upon the night its flaming ruthless screed.
O Night! Whose soothing presence brings The quiet shining of the stars.
O Night! Whose cloak of darkness clings So intimately close that scars Are hid from our own eyes.
Beggars By day, our wealth is having night To burn our souls before altars Dim and tree-shadowed, where the light Is shed from a young moon, mysteriously bright.
Where art thou hiding, where thy peace? This is the hour, but thou art not.
Will waking tumult never cease? Hast thou thy votary forgot? Nature forsakes this man-begot And festering wilderness, and now The long still hours are here, no jot Of dear communing do I know; Instead the glaring, man-filled city groans below!

Written by Amy Lowell |

In Darkness

 Must all of worth be travailled for, and those
Life's brightest stars rise from a troubled sea?
Must years go by in sad uncertainty
Leaving us doubting whose the conquering blows,
Are we or Fate the victors? Time which shows
All inner meanings will reveal, but we
Shall never know the upshot.
Ours to be Wasted with longing, shattered in the throes, The agonies of splendid dreams, which day Dims from our vision, but each night brings back; We strive to hold their grandeur, and essay To be the thing we dream.
Sudden we lack The flash of insight, life grows drear and gray, And hour follows hour, nerveless, slack.

Written by Amy Lowell |


 An arid daylight shines along the beach
Dried to a grey monotony of tone,
And stranded jelly-fish melt soft upon
The sun-baked pebbles, far beyond their reach
Sparkles a wet, reviving sea.
Here bleach The skeletons of fishes, every bone Polished and stark, like traceries of stone, The joints and knuckles hardened each to each.
And they are dead while waiting for the sea, The moon-pursuing sea, to come again.
Their hearts are blown away on the hot breeze.
Only the shells and stones can wait to be Washed bright.
For living things, who suffer pain, May not endure till time can bring them ease.

Written by Amy Lowell |


 Be not angry with me that I bear
Your colours everywhere,
All through each crowded street,
And meet
The wonder-light in every eye,
As I go by.
Each plodding wayfarer looks up to gaze, Blinded by rainbow haze, The stuff of happiness, No less, Which wraps me in its glad-hued folds Of peacock golds.
Before my feet the dusty, rough-paved way Flushes beneath its gray.
My steps fall ringed with light, So bright, It seems a myriad suns are strown About the town.
Around me is the sound of steepled bells, And rich perfumed smells Hang like a wind-forgotten cloud, And shroud Me from close contact with the world.
I dwell impearled.
You blazon me with jewelled insignia.
A flaming nebula Rims in my life.
And yet You set The word upon me, unconfessed To go unguessed.

Written by Amy Lowell |

In Answer to a Request

 You ask me for a sonnet.
Ah, my Dear, Can clocks tick back to yesterday at noon? Can cracked and fallen leaves recall last June And leap up on the boughs, now stiff and sere? For your sake, I would go and seek the year, Faded beyond the purple ranks of dune, Blown sands of drifted hours, which the moon Streaks with a ghostly finger, and her sneer Pulls at my lengthening shadow.
Yes, 'tis that! My shadow stretches forward, and the ground Is dark in front because the light's behind.
It is grotesque, with such a funny hat, In watching it and walking I have found More than enough to occupy my mind.
I cannot turn, the light would make me blind.

Written by Amy Lowell |


 A face seen passing in a crowded street,
A voice heard singing music, large and free;
And from that moment life is changed, and we
Become of more heroic temper, meet
To freely ask and give, a man complete
Radiant because of faith, we dare to be
What Nature meant us.
Brave idolatry Which can conceive a hero! No deceit, No knowledge taught by unrelenting years, Can quench this fierce, untamable desire.
We know that what we long for once achieved Will cease to satisfy.
Be still our fears; If what we worship fail us, still the fire Burns on, and it is much to have believed.

Written by Amy Lowell |

The Matrix

 Goaded and harassed in the factory
That tears our life up into bits of days
Ticked off upon a clock which never stays,
Shredding our portion of Eternity,
We break away at last, and steal the key
Which hides a world empty of hours; ways
Of space unroll, and Heaven overlays
The leafy, sun-lit earth of Fantasy.
Beyond the ilex shadow glares the sun, Scorching against the blue flame of the sky.
Brown lily-pads lie heavy and supine Within a granite basin, under one The bronze-gold glimmer of a carp; and I Reach out my hand and pluck a nectarine.

Written by Amy Lowell |


 As I would free the white almond from the green husk
So would I strip your trappings off,
And fingering the smooth and polished kernel I should see that in my hands glittered a gem beyond counting.

Written by Amy Lowell |

J--K. Huysmans

 A flickering glimmer through a window-pane,
A dim red glare through mud bespattered glass,
Cleaving a path between blown walls of sleet
Across uneven pavements sunk in slime
To scatter and then quench itself in mist.
And struggling, slipping, often rudely hurled Against the jutting angle of a wall, And cursed, and reeled against, and flung aside By drunken brawlers as they shuffled past, A man was groping to what seemed a light.
His eyelids burnt and quivered with the strain Of looking, and against his temples beat The all enshrouding, suffocating dark.
He stumbled, lurched, and struck against a door That opened, and a howl of obscene mirth Grated his senses, wallowing on the floor Lay men, and dogs and women in the dirt.
He sickened, loathing it, and as he gazed The candle guttered, flared, and then went out.
Through travail of ignoble midnight streets He came at last to shelter in a porch Where gothic saints and warriors made a shield To cover him, and tortured gargoyles spat One long continuous stream of silver rain That clattered down from myriad roofs and spires Into a darkness, loud with rushing sound Of water falling, gurgling as it fell, But always thickly dark.
Then as he leaned Unconscious where, the great oak door blew back And cast him, bruised and dripping, in the church.
His eyes from long sojourning in the night Were blinded now as by some glorious sun; He slowly crawled toward the altar steps.
He could not think, for heavy in his ears An organ boomed majestic harmonies; He only knew that what he saw was light! He bowed himself before a cross of flame And shut his eyes in fear lest it should fade.

Written by Amy Lowell |


 Some men there are who find in nature all
Their inspiration, hers the sympathy
Which spurs them on to any great endeavor,
To them the fields and woods are closest friends,
And they hold dear communion with the hills;
The voice of waters soothes them with its fall,
And the great winds bring healing in their sound.
To them a city is a prison house Where pent up human forces labour and strive, Where beauty dwells not, driven forth by man; But where in winter they must live until Summer gives back the spaces of the hills.
To me it is not so.
I love the earth And all the gifts of her so lavish hand: Sunshine and flowers, rivers and rushing winds, Thick branches swaying in a winter storm, And moonlight playing in a boat's wide wake; But more than these, and much, ah, how much more, I love the very human heart of man.
Above me spreads the hot, blue mid-day sky, Far down the hillside lies the sleeping lake Lazily reflecting back the sun, And scarcely ruffled by the little breeze Which wanders idly through the nodding ferns.
The blue crest of the distant mountain, tops The green crest of the hill on which I sit; And it is summer, glorious, deep-toned summer, The very crown of nature's changing year When all her surging life is at its full.
To me alone it is a time of pause, A void and silent space between two worlds, When inspiration lags, and feeling sleeps, Gathering strength for efforts yet to come.
For life alone is creator of life, And closest contact with the human world Is like a lantern shining in the night To light me to a knowledge of myself.
I love the vivid life of winter months In constant intercourse with human minds, When every new experience is gain And on all sides we feel the great world's heart; The pulse and throb of life which makes us men!

Written by Amy Lowell |

The Last Quarter of the Moon

 How long shall I tarnish the mirror of life,
A spatter of rust on its polished steel!
The seasons reel
Like a goaded wheel.
Half-numb, half-maddened, my days are strife.
The night is sliding towards the dawn, And upturned hills crouch at autumn's knees.
A torn moon flees Through the hemlock trees, The hours have gnawed it to feed their spawn.
Pursuing and jeering the misshapen thing A rabble of clouds flares out of the east.
Like dogs unleashed After a beast, They stream on the sky, an outflung string.
A desolate wind, through the unpeopled dark, Shakes the bushes and whistles through empty nests, And the fierce unrests I keep as guests Crowd my brain with corpses, pallid and stark.
Leave me in peace, O Spectres, who haunt My labouring mind, I have fought and failed.
I have not quailed, I was all unmailed And naked I strove, 'tis my only vaunt.
The moon drops into the silver day As waking out of her swoon she comes.
I hear the drums Of millenniums Beating the mornings I still must stay.
The years I must watch go in and out, While I build with water, and dig in air, And the trumpets blare Hollow despair, The shuddering trumpets of utter rout.
An atom tossed in a chaos made Of yeasting worlds, which bubble and foam.
Whence have I come? What would be home? I hear no answer.
I am afraid! I crave to be lost like a wind-blown flame.
Pushed into nothingness by a breath, And quench in a wreath Of engulfing death This fight for a God, or this devil's game.