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Best Famous Amy Levy Poems

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

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by Amy Levy | |

In the Nower

 To J.
De P.
Deep in the grass outstretched I lie, Motionless on the hill; Above me is a cloudless sky, Around me all is still: There is no breath, no sound, no stir, The drowsy peace to break: I close my tired eyes--it were So simple not to wake.

by Amy Levy | |


 Last June I saw your face three times;
Three times I touched your hand;
Now, as before, May month is o'er,
And June is in the land.
O many Junes shall come and go, Flow'r-footed o'er the mead; O many Junes for me, to whom Is length of days decreed.
There shall be sunlight, scent of rose; Warm mist of summer rain; Only this change--I shall not look Upon your face again.

by Amy Levy | |

Oh Is It Love?

 O is it Love or is it Fame,
This thing for which I sigh?
Or has it then no earthly name
For men to call it by?

I know not what can ease my pains,
Nor what it is I wish;
The passion at my heart-strings strains
Like a tiger in a leash.

More great poems below...

by Amy Levy | |

On the Threshold

 O God, my dream! I dreamed that you were dead;
Your mother hung above the couch and wept
Whereon you lay all white, and garlanded
With blooms of waxen whiteness.
I had crept Up to your chamber-door, which stood ajar, And in the doorway watched you from afar, Nor dared advance to kiss your lips and brow.
I had no part nor lot in you, as now; Death had not broken between us the old bar; Nor torn from out my heart the old, cold sense Of your misprision and my impotence.

by Amy Levy | |

The Two Terrors

 Two terrors fright my soul by night and day:
The first is Life, and with her come the years;
A weary, winding train of maidens they,
With forward-fronting eyes, too sad for tears;
Upon whose kindred faces, blank and grey,
The shadow of a kindred woe appears.
Death is the second terror; who shall say What form beneath the shrouding mantle nears? Which way she turn, my soul finds no relief, My smitten soul may not be comforted; Alternately she swings from grief to grief, And, poised between them, sways from dread to dread.
For there she dreads because she knows; and here, Because she knows not, only faints with fear.

by Amy Levy | |

On the Wye in May

 Now is the perfect moment of the year.
Half naked branches, half a mist of green, Vivid and delicate the slopes appear; The cool, soft air is neither fierce nor keen, And in the temperate sun we feel no fear; Of all the hours which shall be and have been, It is the briefest as it is most dear, It is the dearest as the shortest seen.
O it was best, belovèd, at the first.
-- Our hands met gently, and our meeting sight Was steady; on our senses scarce had burst The faint, fresh fragrance of the new delight.
I seek that clime, unknown, without a name, Where first and best and last shall be the same.

by Amy Levy | |

Out of Town

 Out of town the sky was bright and blue,
Never fog-cloud, lowering, thick, was seen to frown;
Nature dons a garb of gayer hue,
Out of town.
Spotless lay the snow on field and down, Pure and keen the air above it blew; All wore peace and beauty for a crown.
London sky, marred by smoke, veiled from view, London snow, trodden thin, dingy brown, Whence that strange unrest at thoughts of you Out of town?

by Amy Levy | |

A Cross-Road Epitaph

 "Am Kreuzweg wird begraben
Wer selber brachte sich um.
" When first the world grew dark to me I call'd on God, yet came not he.
Whereon, as wearier wax'd my lot, On Love I call'd, but Love came not.
When a worse evil did befall, Death, on thee only did I call.

by Amy Levy | |

A Dirge

 "Mein Herz, mein Herz ist traurig
Doch lustig leuchtet der Mai"

There's May amid the meadows,
There's May amid the trees;
Her May-time note the cuckoo
Sends forth upon the breeze.
Above the rippling river May swallows skim and dart; November and December Keep watch within my heart.
The spring breathes in the breezes, The woods with wood-notes ring, And all the budding hedgerows Are fragrant of the spring.
In secret, silent places The live green things upstart; Ice-bound, ice-crown'd dwells winter For ever in my heart.
Upon the bridge I linger, Near where the lime-trees grow; Above, swart birds are circling, Beneath, the stream runs slow.
A stripling and a maiden Come wand'ring up the way; His eyes are glad with springtime, Her face is fair with May.
Of warmth the sun and sweetness All nature takes a part; The ice of all the ages Weighs down upon my heart.

by Amy Levy | |

A Farewell

 (After Heine.
) The sad rain falls from Heaven, A sad bird pipes and sings ; I am sitting here at my window And watching the spires of "King's.
" O fairest of all fair places, Sweetest of all sweet towns! With the birds, and the greyness and greenness, And the men in caps and gowns.
All they that dwell within thee, To leave are ever loth, For one man gets friends, and another Gets honour, and one gets both.
The sad rain falls from Heaven; My heart is great with woe-- I have neither a friend nor honour, Yet I am sorry to go.

by Amy Levy | |

A June-Tide Echo

 (After a Richter Concert.
) In the long, sad time, when the sky was grey, And the keen blast blew through the city drear, When delight had fled from the night and the day, My chill heart whispered, " June will be here! " June with its roses a-sway in the sun, Its glory of green on mead and tree.
" Lo, now the sweet June-tide is nearly done, June-tide, and never a joy for me Is it so much of the gods that I pray? Sure craved man never so slight a boon! To be glad and glad in my heart one day-- One perfect day of the perfect June.
Sweet sounds to-night rose up, wave upon wave; Sweet dreams were afloat in the balmy air.
This is the boon of the gods that I crave-- To be glad, as the music and night were fair.
For once, for one fleeting hour, to hold The fair shape the music that rose and fell Revealed and concealed like a veiling fold; To catch for an instant the sweet June spell.
For once, for one hour, to catch and keep The sweet June secret that mocks my heart; Now lurking calm, like a thing asleep, Now hither and thither with start and dart.
Then the sick, slow grief of the weary years, The slow, sick grief and the sudden pain; The long days of labour, the nights of tears-- No more these things would I hold in vain.
I would hold my life as a thing of worth; Pour praise to the gods for a precious thing.
Lo, June in her fairness is on earth, And never a joy does the niggard bring.

by Amy Levy | |

A London Plane-Tree

 Green is the plane-tree in the square,
The other trees are brown;
They droop and pine for country air;
The plane-tree loves the town.
Here from my garret-pane, I mark The plane-tree bud and blow, Shed her recuperative bark, And spread her shade below.
Among her branches, in and out, The city breezes play; The dun fog wraps her round about; Above, the smoke curls grey.
Others the country take for choice, And hold the town in scorn; But she has listened to the voice On city breezes borne.

by Amy Levy | |

A March Day in London

 The east wind blows in the street to-day;
The sky is blue, yet the town looks grey.
'Tis the wind of ice, the wind of fire, Of cold despair and of hot desire, Which chills the flesh to aches and pains, And sends a fever through all the veins.
From end to end, with aimless feet, All day long have I paced the street.
My limbs are weary, but in my breast Stirs the goad of a mad unrest.
I would give anything to stay The little wheel that turns in my brain; The little wheel that turns all day, That turns all night with might and main.
What is the thing I fear, and why? Nay, but the world is all awry-- The wind's in the east, the sun's in the sky.
The gas-lamps gleam in a golden line; The ruby lights of the hansoms shine, Glance, and flicker like fire-flies bright; The wind has fallen with the night, And once again the town seems fair Thwart the mist that hangs i' the air.
And o'er, at last, my spirit steals A weary peace ; peace that conceals Within its inner depths the grain Of hopes that yet shall flower again.

by Amy Levy | |

A Prayer

 Since that I may not have
Love on this side the grave,
Let me imagine Love.
Since not mine is the bliss Of 'claspt hands and lips that kiss,' Let me in dreams it prove.
What tho' as the years roll No soul shall melt to my soul, Let me conceive such thing; Tho' never shall entwine Loving arms around mine Let dreams caresses bring.
To live--it is my doom-- Lonely as in a tomb, This cross on me was laid; My God, I know not why; Here in the dark I lie, Lonely, yet not afraid.
It has seemed good to Thee Still to withhold the key Which opes the way to men; I am shut in alone, I make not any moan, Thy ways are past my ken.
Yet grant me this, to find The sweetness in my mind Which I must still forego; Great God which art above, Grant me to image Love,-- The bliss without the woe.

by Amy Levy | |

A Reminiscence

 It is so long gone by, and yet
How clearly now I see it all!
The glimmer of your cigarette,
The little chamber, narrow and tall.
Perseus; your picture in its frame; (How near they seem and yet how far!) The blaze of kindled logs; the flame Of tulips in a mighty jar.
Florence and spring-time: surely each Glad things unto the spirit saith.
Why did you lead me in your speech To these dark mysteries of death?

by Amy Levy | |

A Wall Flower

 I lounge in the doorway and languish in vain
While Tom, Dick and Harry are dancing with Jane

My spirit rises to the music's beat;
There is a leaden fiend lurks in my feet!
To move unto your motion, Love, were sweet.
Somewhere, I think, some other where, not here, In other ages, on another sphere, I danced with you, and you with me, my dear.
In perfect motion did our bodies sway, To perfect music that was heard alway; Woe's me, that am so dull of foot to-day! To move unto your motion, Love, were sweet; My spirit rises to the music's beat-- But, ah, the leaden demon in my feet!

by Amy Levy | |

At a Dinner Party

 With fruit and flowers the board is deckt,
The wine and laughter flow;
I'll not complain--could one expect
So dull a world to know?

You look across the fruit and flowers,
My glance your glances find.
-- It is our secret, only ours, Since all the world is blind.

by Amy Levy | |

At Dawn

 In the night I dreamed of you;
All the place was filled
With your presence; in my heart
The strife was stilled.
All night I have dreamed of you; Now the morn is grey.
-- How shall I arise and face The empty day?

by Amy Levy | |

Ballade of a Special Edition

 He comes; I hear him up the street--
Bird of ill omen, flapping wide
The pinion of a printed sheet,
His hoarse note scares the eventide.
Of slaughter, theft, and suicide He is the herald and the friend; Now he vociferates with pride-- A double murder in Mile End! A hanging to his soul is sweet; His gloating fancy's fain to bide Where human-freighted vessels meet, And misdirected trains collide.
With Shocking Accidents supplied, He tramps the town from end to end.
How often have we heard it cried-- A double murder in Mile End.
War loves he; victory or defeat, So there be loss on either side.
His tale of horrors incomplete, Imagination's aid is tried.
Since no distinguished man has died, And since the Fates, relenting, send No great catastrophe, he's spied This double murder in Mile End.
Fiend, get thee gone! no more repeat Those sounds which do mine ears offend.
It is apocryphal, you cheat, Your double murder in Mile End.

by Amy Levy | |

Ballade of an Omnibus

 "To see my love suffices me.
" --Ballades in Blue China.
Some men to carriages aspire; On some the costly hansoms wait; Some seek a fly, on job or hire; Some mount the trotting steed, elate.
I envy not the rich and great, A wandering minstrel, poor and free, I am contented with my fate -- An omnibus suffices me.
In winter days of rain and mire I find within a corner strait; The 'busmen know me and my lyre From Brompton to the Bull-and-Gate.
When summer comes, I mount in state The topmost summit, whence I see Crœsus look up, compassionate -- An omnibus suffices me.
I mark, untroubled by desire, Lucullus' phaeton and its freight.
The scene whereof I cannot tire, The human tale of love and hate, The city pageant, early and late Unfolds itself, rolls by, to be A pleasure deep and delicate.
An omnibus suffices me.
Princess, your splendour you require, I, my simplicity; agree Neither to rate lower nor higher.
An omnibus suffices me.

by Amy Levy | |

Between the Showers

 Between the showers I went my way,
The glistening street was bright with flowers;
It seemed that March had turned to May
Between the showers.
Above the shining roofs and towers The blue broke forth athwart the grey; Birds carolled in their leafless bowers.
Hither and tither, swift and gay, The people chased the changeful hours; And you, you passed and smiled that day, Between the showers.

by Amy Levy | |


 Am I waking, am I sleeping?
As the first faint dawn comes creeping
Thro' the pane, I am aware
Of an unseen presence hovering,
Round, above, in the dusky air:
A downy bird, with an odorous wing,
That fans my forehead, and sheds perfume,
As sweet as love, as soft as death,
Drowsy-slow through the summer-gloom.
My heart in some dream-rapture saith, It is she.
Half in a swoon, I spread my arms in slow delight.
-- O prolong, prolong the night, For the nights are short in June!

by Amy Levy | |

In the Night

 Cruel? I think there never was a cheating
More cruel, thro' all the weary days than this!
This is no dream, my heart kept on repeating,
But sober certainty of waking bliss.
Dreams? O, I know their faces -- goodly seeming, Vaporous, whirled on many-coloured wings; I have had dreams before, this is no dreaming, But daylight gladness that the daylight brings.
What ails my love; what ails her? She is paling; Faint grows her face, and slowly seems to fade! I cannot clasp her--stretch out unavailing My arms across the silence and the shade.

by Amy Levy | |

Cambridge in the Long

 Where drowsy sound of college-chimes
Across the air is blown,
And drowsy fragrance of the limes,
I lie and dream alone.
A dazzling radiance reigns o'er all-- O'er gardens densely green, O'er old grey bridges and the small, Slow flood which slides between.
This is the place; it is not strange, But known of old and dear.
-- What went I forth to seek? The change Is mine; why am I here? Alas, in vain I turned away, I fled the town in vain; The strenuous life of yesterday Calleth me back again.
And was it peace I came to seek? Yet here, where memories throng, Ev'n here, I know the past is weak, I know the present strong.
This drowsy fragrance, silent heat, Suit not my present mind, Whose eager thought goes out to meet The life it left behind.
Spirit with sky to change; such hope, An idle one we know; Unship the oars, make loose the rope, Push off the boat and go.
Ah, would what binds me could have been Thus loosened at a touch! This pain of living is too keen, Of loving, is too much.

by Amy Levy | |


 The lion remembers the forest,
The lion in chains;
To the bird that is captive a vision
Of woodland remains.
One strains with his strength at the fetter, In impotent rage; One flutters in flights of a moment, And beats at the cage.
If the lion were loosed from the fetter, To wander again; He would seek the wide silence and shadow Of his jungle in vain.
He would rage in his fury, destroying; Let him rage, let him roam! Shall he traverse the pitiless mountain, Or swim through the foam? If they opened the cage and the casement, And the bird flew away; He would come back at evening, heartbroken, A captive for aye.
Would come if his kindred had spared him, Free birds from afar-- There was wrought what is stronger than iron In fetter and bar.
I cannot remember my country, The land whence I came; Whence they brought me and chained me and made me Nor wild thing nor tame.
This only I know of my country, This only repeat :-- It was free as the forest, and sweeter Than woodland retreat.
When the chain shall at last be broken, The window set wide; And I step in the largeness and freedom Of sunlight outside ; Shall I wander in vain for my country? Shall I seek and not find? Shall I cry for the bars that encage me The fetters that bind?