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Best Famous C S Lewis Poems

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

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by C S Lewis | |

After Prayers Lie Cold

 Arise my body, my small body, we have striven 
Enough, and He is merciful; we are forgiven.
Arise small body, puppet-like and pale, and go, White as the bed-clothes into bed, and cold as snow, Undress with small, cold fingers and put out the light, And be alone, hush'd mortal, in the sacred night, -A meadow whipt flat with the rain, a cup Emptied and clean, a garment washed and folded up, Faded in colour, thinned almost to raggedness By dirt and by the washing of that dirtiness.
Be not too quickly warm again.
Lie cold; consent To weariness' and pardon's watery element.
Drink up the bitter water, breathe the chilly death; Soon enough comes the riot of our blood and breath.


by C S Lewis | |

An Expostulation

 Against too many writers of science fiction 

Why did you lure us on like this, 
Light-year on light-year, through the abyss, 
Building (as though we cared for size!) 
Empires that cover galaxies 
If at the journey's end we find 
The same old stuff we left behind, 
Well-worn Tellurian stories of 
Crooks, spies, conspirators, or love, 
Whose setting might as well have been 
The Bronx, Montmartre, or Bedinal Green?

Why should I leave this green-floored cell, 
Roofed with blue air, in which we dwell, 
Unless, outside its guarded gates,
Long, long desired, the Unearthly waits 
Strangeness that moves us more than fear, 
Beauty that stabs with tingling spear, 
Or Wonder, laying on one's heart 
That finger-tip at which we start 
As if some thought too swift and shy 
For reason's grasp had just gone by?


by C S Lewis | |

As the Ruin Falls

 All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through: I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.
Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek, I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin: I talk of love --a scholar's parrot may talk Greek-- But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.
Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm.
And everything you are was making My heart into a bridge by which I might get back From exile, and grow man.
And now the bridge is breaking.
For this I bless you as the ruin falls.
The pains You give me are more precious than all other gains.


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by C S Lewis | |

Evolutionary Hymn

 Lead us, Evolution, lead us
Up the future's endless stair;
Chop us, change us, prod us, weed us.
For stagnation is despair: Groping, guessing, yet progressing, Lead us nobody knows where.
Wrong or justice, joy or sorrow, In the present what are they while there's always jam-tomorrow, While we tread the onward way? Never knowing where we're going, We can never go astray.
To whatever variation Our posterity may turn Hairy, squashy, or crustacean, Bulbous-eyed or square of stern, Tusked or toothless, mild or ruthless, Towards that unknown god we yearn.
Ask not if it's god or devil, Brethren, lest your words imply Static norms of good and evil (As in Plato) throned on high; Such scholastic, inelastic, Abstract yardsticks we deny.
Far too long have sages vainly Glossed great Nature's simple text; He who runs can read it plainly, 'Goodness = what comes next.
' By evolving, Life is solving All the questions we perplexed.
Oh then! Value means survival- Value.
If our progeny Spreads and spawns and licks each rival, That will prove its deity (Far from pleasant, by our present, Standards, though it may well be).


by C S Lewis | |

On a Vulgar Error

 No.
It's an impudent falsehood.
Men did not Invariably think the newer way Prosaic mad, inelegant, or what not.
Was the first pointed arch esteemed a blot Upon the church? Did anybody say How modern and how ugly? They did not.
Plate-armour, or windows glazed, or verse fire-hot With rhymes from France, or spices from Cathay, Were these at first a horror? They were not.
If, then, our present arts, laws, houses, food All set us hankering after yesterday, Need this be only an archaising mood? Why, any man whose purse has been let blood By sharpers, when he finds all drained away Must compare how he stands with how he stood.
If a quack doctor's breezy ineptitude Has cost me a leg, must I forget straightway All that I can't do now, all that I could? So, when our guides unanimously decry The backward glance, I think we can guess why.


by C S Lewis | |

On Being Human

 Angelic minds, they say, by simple intelligence 
Behold the Forms of nature.
They discern Unerringly the Archtypes, all the verities Which mortals lack or indirectly learn.
Transparent in primordial truth, unvarying, Pure Earthness and right Stonehood from their clear, High eminence are seen; unveiled, the seminal Huge Principles appear.
The Tree-ness of the tree they know-the meaning of Arboreal life, how from earth's salty lap The solar beam uplifts it; all the holiness Enacted by leaves' fall and rising sap; But never an angel knows the knife-edged severance Of sun from shadow where the trees begin, The blessed cool at every pore caressing us -An angel has no skin.
They see the Form of Air; but mortals breathing it Drink the whole summer down into the breast.
The lavish pinks, the field new-mown, the ravishing Sea-smells, the wood-fire smoke that whispers Rest.
The tremor on the rippled pool of memory That from each smell in widening circles goes, The pleasure and the pang --can angels measure it? An angel has no nose.
The nourishing of life, and how it flourishes On death, and why, they utterly know; but not The hill-born, earthy spring, the dark cold bilberries.
The ripe peach from the southern wall still hot Full-bellied tankards foamy-topped, the delicate Half-lyric lamb, a new loaf's billowy curves, Nor porridge, nor the tingling taste of oranges.
—An angel has no nerves.
Far richer they! I know the senses' witchery Guards us like air, from heavens too big to see; Imminent death to man that barb'd sublimity And dazzling edge of beauty unsheathed would be.
Yet here, within this tiny, charmed interior, This parlour of the brain, their Maker shares With living men some secrets in a privacy Forever ours, not theirs.


by C S Lewis | |

Prelude to Space

 An Epithaliamium

So Man, grown vigorous now,
Holds himself ripe to breed,
Daily devises how
To ejaculate his seed
And boldly fertilize
The black womb of the unconsenting skies.
Some now alive expect (I am told) to see the large, Steel member grow erect, Turgid with the fierce charge Of our whole planet's skill, Courage, wealth, knowledge, concentrated will, Straining with lust to stamp Our likeness on the abyss- Bombs, gallows, Belsen camp, Pox, polio, Thais' kiss Or Judas, Moloch's fires And Torquemada's (sons resemble sires).
Shall we, when the grim shape Roars upward, dance and sing? Yes: if we honour rape, If we take pride to Ring So bountifully on space The sperm of our long woes, our large disgrace.


by C S Lewis | |

Science-fiction Cradlesong

 By and by Man will try 
To get out into the sky, 
Sailing far beyond the air 
From Down and Here to Up and There.
Stars and sky, sky and stars Make us feel the prison bars.
Suppose it done.
Now we ride Closed in steel, up there, outside Through our port-holes see the vast Heaven-scape go rushing past.
Shall we? All that meets the eye Is sky and stars, stars and sky.
Points of light with black between Hang like a painted scene Motionless, no nearer there Than on Earth, everywhere Equidistant from our ship.
Heaven has given us the slip.
Hush, be still.
Outer space Is a concept, not a place.
Try no more.
Where we are Never can be sky or star.
From prison, in a prison, we fly; There's no way into the sky.


by C S Lewis | |

The Condemned

 There is a wildness still in England that will not feed 
In cages; it shrinks away from the touch of the trainer's hand,
Easy to kill, not easy to tame.
It will never breed In a zoo for the public pleasure.
It will not be planned.
Do not blame us too much if we that are hedgerow folk Cannot swell the rejoicings at this new world you make - We, hedge-hogged as Johnson or Borrow, strange to the yoke As Landor, surly as Cobbett (that badger), birdlike as Blake.
A new scent troubles the air -- to you, friendly perhaps But we with animal wisdom have understood that smell.
To all our kind its message is Guns, Ferrets, and Traps, And a Ministry gassing the little holes in which we dwell.


by C S Lewis | |

Re-adjustment

 I thought there would be a grave beauty, a sunset splendour
In being the last of one's kind: a topmost moment as one watched 
The huge wave curving over Atlantis, the shrouded barge 
Turning away with wounded Arthur, or Ilium burning.
Now I see that, all along, I was assuming a posterity Of gentle hearts: someone, however distant in the depths of time, Who could pick up our signal, who could understand a story.
There won't be.
Between the new Hembidae and us who are dying, already There rises a barrier across which no voice can ever carry, For devils are unmaking language.
We must let that alone forever.
Uproot your loves, one by one, with care, from the future, And trusting to no future, receive the massive thrust And surge of the many-dimensional timeless rays converging On this small, significant dew drop, the present that mirrors all.


by C S Lewis | |

The Country of the Blind

 Hard light bathed them-a whole nation of eyeless men, 
Dark bipeds not aware how they were maimed.
A long Process, clearly, a slow curse, Drained through centuries, left them thus.
At some transitional stage, then, a luckless few, No doubt, must have had eyes after the up-to-date, Normal type had achieved snug Darkness, safe from the guns of heavn; Whose blind mouths would abuse words that belonged to their Great-grandsires, unabashed, talking of light in some Eunuch'd, etiolated, Fungoid sense, as a symbol of Abstract thoughts.
If a man, one that had eyes, a poor Misfit, spoke of the grey dawn or the stars or green- Sloped sea waves, or admired how Warm tints change in a lady's cheek, None complained he had used words from an alien tongue, None question'd.
It was worse.
All would agree 'Of course,' Came their answer.
"We've all felt Just like that.
" They were wrong.
And he Knew too much to be clear, could not explain.
The words -- Sold, raped flung to the dogs -- now could avail no more; Hence silence.
But the mouldwarps, With glib confidence, easily Showed how tricks of the phrase, sheer metaphors could set Fools concocting a myth, taking the worlds for things.
Do you think this a far-fetched Picture? Go then about among Men now famous; attempt speech on the truths that once, Opaque, carved in divine forms, irremovable, Dear but dear as a mountain- Mass, stood plain to the inward eye.


by C S Lewis | |

The Meteorite

 Among the hills a meteorite
Lies huge; and moss has overgrown,
And wind and rain with touches light
Made soft, the contours of the stone.
Thus easily can Earth digest A cinder of sidereal fire, And make her translunary guest The native of an English shire.
Nor is it strange these wanderers Find in her lap their fitting place, For every particle that's hers Came at the first from outer space.
All that is Earth has once been sky; Down from the sun of old she came, Or from some star that travelled by Too close to his entangling flame.
Hence, if belated drops yet fall From heaven, on these her plastic power Still works as once it worked on all The glad rush of the golden shower.