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Best Famous Sidney Lanier Poems


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

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by Sidney Lanier |

Nirvana

 not much chance,
completely cut loose from
purpose,
he was a young man
riding a bus
through North Carolina
on the wat to somewhere
and it began to snow
and the bus stopped 
at a little cafe
in the hills
and the passengers 
entered.
he sat at the counter
with the others,
he ordered and the 
food arived.
the meal was
particularly
good 
and the
coffee.
the waitress was 
unlike the women
he had
known.
she was unaffected,
there was a natural
humor which came
from her.
the fry cook said
crazy things.
the dishwasher.
in back,
laughed, a good
clean
pleasant
laugh.
the young man watched
the snow through the
windows.
he wanted to stay
in that cafe
forever.
the curious feeling
swam through him
that everything 
was
beautiful
there,
that it would always
stay beautiful
there.
then the bus driver
told the passengers
that it was time
to board.
the young man
thought, I'll just sit
here, I'll just stay
here.
but then
he rose and followed
the others into the
bus.
he found his seat
and looked at the cafe
through the bus
window.
then the bus moved
off, down a curve,
downward, out of
the hills.
the young man 
looked straight 
foreward.
he heard the other
passengers
speaking 
of other things,
or they were
reading
or
attempting to
sleep.
they had not 
noticed 
the
magic.
the young man
put his head to
one side,
closed his
eyes,
pretended to
sleep.
there was nothing
else to do-
just to listen to the
sound of the
engine,
the sound of the 
tires 
in the
snow.


by Sidney Lanier |

Night

 A pale enchanted moon is sinking low
Behind the dunes that fringe the shadowy lea, 
And there is haunted starlight on the flow
Of immemorial sea.

I am alone and need no more pretend
Laughter or smile to hide a hungry heart;
I walk with solitude as with a friend
Enfolded and apart.

We tread an eerie road across the moor
Where shadows weave upon their ghostly looms,
And winds sing an old lyric that might lure
Sad queens from ancient tombs.

I am a sister to the loveliness
Of cool far hill and long-remembered shore,
Finding in it a sweet forgetfulness
Of all that hurt before.

The world of day, its bitterness and cark,
No longer have the power to make me weep;
I welcome this communion of the dark
As toilers welcome sleep.


by Sidney Lanier |

Ireland.

 Written for the Art Autograph during the Irish Famine, 1880.


Heartsome Ireland, winsome Ireland,
Charmer of the sun and sea,
Bright beguiler of old anguish,
How could Famine frown on thee?

As our Gulf-Stream, drawn to thee-ward,
Turns him from his northward flow,
And our wintry western headlands
Send thee summer from their snow,

Thus the main and cordial current
Of our love sets over sea, --
Tender, comely, valiant Ireland,
Songful, soulful, sorrowful Ireland, --
Streaming warm to comfort thee.


by Sidney Lanier |

Martha Washington

 Written for the "Martha Washington Court Journal".



Down cold snow-stretches of our bitter time,
When windy shams and the rain-mocking sleet
Of Trade have cased us in such icy rime
That hearts are scarcely hot enough to beat,
Thy fame, O Lady of the lofty eyes,
Doth fall along the age, like as a lane
Of Spring, in whose most generous boundaries
Full many a frozen virtue warms again.
To-day I saw the pale much-burdened form
Of Charity come limping o'er the line,
And straighten from the bending of the storm
And flush with stirrings of new strength divine,
Such influence and sweet gracious impulse came
Out of the beams of thine immortal name!


by Sidney Lanier |

Night

 HEART-HIDDEN from the outer things I rose;
The spirit woke anew in nightly birth
Unto the vastness where forever glows
 The star-soul of the earth.


There all alone in primal ecstasy,
Within her depths where revels never tire,
The olden Beauty shines: each thought of me
 Is veined through with its fire.


And all my thoughts are throngs of living souls;
They breathe in me, heart unto heart allied;
Their joy undimmed, though when the morning tolls
 The planets may divide.


by Sidney Lanier |

Night and Day

 When the golden day is done, 
Through the closing portal, 
Child and garden, Flower and sun, 
Vanish all things mortal. 

As the blinding shadows fall 
As the rays diminish, 
Under evening's cloak they all 
Roll away and vanish. 

Garden darkened, daisy shut, 
Child in bed, they slumber-- 
Glow-worm in the hallway rut, 
Mice among the lumber. 

In the darkness houses shine, 
Parents move the candles; 
Till on all the night divine 
Turns the bedroom handles. 

Till at last the day begins 
In the east a-breaking, 
In the hedges and the whins 
Sleeping birds a-waking. 

In the darkness shapes of things, 
Houses, trees and hedges, 
Clearer grow; and sparrow's wings 
Beat on window ledges. 

These shall wake the yawning maid; 
She the door shall open-- 
Finding dew on garden glade 
And the morning broken. 

There my garden grows again 
Green and rosy painted, 
As at eve behind the pane 
From my eyes it fainted. 

Just as it was shut away, 
Toy-like, in the even, 
Here I see it glow with day 
Under glowing heaven. 

Every path and every plot, 
Every blush of roses, 
Every blue forget-me-not 
Where the dew reposes, 

"Up!" they cry, "the day is come 
On the smiling valleys: 
We have beat the morning drum; 
Playmate, join your allies!"


by Sidney Lanier |

Night

 BURNING our hearts out with longing
 The daylight passed:
Millions and millions together,
 The stars at last!


Purple the woods where the dewdrops,
 Pearly and grey,
Wash in the cool from our faces
 The flame of day.


Glory and shadow grow one in
 The hazel wood:
Laughter and peace in the stillness
 Together brood.


Hopes all unearthly are thronging
 In hearts of earth:
Tongues of the starlight are calling
 Our souls to birth.


Down from the heaven its secrets
 Drop one by one;
Where time is for ever beginning
 And time is done.


There light eternal is over
 Chaos and night:
Singing with dawn lips for ever,
 “Let there be light!”


There too for ever in twilight
 Time slips away,
Closing in darkness and rapture
 Its awful day.


by Sidney Lanier |

A Song Of Eternity In Time

 Once, at night, in the manor wood
My Love and I long silent stood,
Amazed that any heavens could
Decree to part us, bitterly repining.
My Love, in aimless love and grief,
Reached forth and drew aside a leaf
That just above us played the thief
And stole our starlight that for us was shining.

A star that had remarked her pain
Shone straightway down that leafy lane,
And wrought his image, mirror-plain,
Within a tear that on her lash hung gleaming.
"Thus Time," I cried, "is but a tear
Some one hath wept 'twixt hope and fear,
Yet in his little lucent sphere
Our star of stars, Eternity, is beaming."


by Sidney Lanier |

A Song Of The Future.

 Sail fast, sail fast,
Ark of my hopes, Ark of my dreams;
Sweep lordly o'er the drowned Past,
Fly glittering through the sun's strange beams;
Sail fast, sail fast.
Breaths of new buds from off some drying lea
With news about the Future scent the sea:
My brain is beating like the heart of Haste:
I'll loose me a bird upon this Present waste;
Go, trembling song,
And stay not long; oh, stay not long:
Thou'rt only a gray and sober dove,
But thine eye is faith and thy wing is love.


by Sidney Lanier |

The Raven Days

 Our hearths are gone out and our hearts are broken,
And but the ghosts of homes to us remain,
And ghastly eyes and hollow sighs give token
From friend to friend of an unspoken pain.

O Raven days, dark Raven days of sorrow,
Bring to us in your whetted ivory beaks
Some sign out of the far land of To-morrow,
Some strip of sea-green dawn, some orange streaks.

Ye float in dusky files, forever croaking.
Ye chill our manhood with your dreary shade.
Dumb in the dark, not even God invoking,
We lie in chains, too weak to be afraid.

O Raven days, dark Raven days of sorrow,
Will ever any warm light come again?
Will ever the lit mountains of To-morrow
Begin to gleam athwart the mournful plain?