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Best Famous George Eliot Poems

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

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Written by Algernon Charles Swinburne | |

On the Deaths of Thomas Carlyle and George Eliot

 Two souls diverse out of our human sight
Pass, followed one with love and each with wonder:
The stormy sophist with his mouth of thunder,
Clothed with loud words and mantled in the might
Of darkness and magnificence of night;
And one whose eye could smite the night in sunder,
Searching if light or no light were thereunder,
And found in love of loving-kindness light.
Duty divine and Thought with eyes of fire, Still following Righteousness with deep desire, Shone sole and stern before her and above-- Sure stars and sole to steer by; but more sweet Shone lower the loveliest lamp for earthly feet-- The light of little children, and their love.


Written by Craig Raine | |

Dandelions

 'and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence'
 -- George Eliot, Middlemarch


Dead dandelions, bald as drumsticks,
swaying by the roadside

like Hare Krishna pilgrims
bowing to the Juggernaut.
They have given up everything.
Gold gone and their silver gone, humbled with dust, hollow, their milky bodies tan to the colour of annas.
The wind changes their identity: slender Giacomettis, Doré's convicts, Rodin's burghers of Calais with five bowed heads and the weight of serrated keys .
.
.
They wither into mystery, waiting to find out why they are, patiently, before nirvana when the rain comes down like vitriol.


Written by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Margaret Fuller Slack

 I would have been as great as George Eliot
But for an untoward fate.
For look at the photograph of me made by Penniwit, Chin resting on hand, and deep-set eyes -- Gray, too, and far-searching.
But there was the old, old problem: Should it be celibacy, matrimony or unchastity? Then John Slack, the rich druggist, wooed me, Luring me with the promise of leisure for my novel, And I married him, giving birth to eight children, And had no time to write.
It was all over with me, anyway, When I ran the needle in my hand While washing the baby's things, And died from lock-jaw, an ironical death.
Hear me, ambitious souls, Sex is the curse of life.


More great poems below...

Written by George Eliot | |

Count That Day Lost

 If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard, 
One glance most kind
That fell like sunshine where it went --
Then you may count that day well spent.
But if, through all the livelong day, You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay -- If, through it all You've nothing done that you can trace That brought the sunshine to one face-- No act most small That helped some soul and nothing cost -- Then count that day as worse than lost.


Written by George Eliot | |

Roses

 (For Katherine Bregy)

I went to gather roses and twine them in a ring,
For I would make a posy, a posy for the King.
I got an hundred roses, the loveliest there be, From the white rose vine and the pink rose bush and from the red rose tree.
But when I took my posy and laid it at His feet I found He had His roses a million times more sweet.
There was a scarlet blossom upon each foot and hand, And a great pink rose bloomed from His side for the healing of the land.
Now of this fair and awful King there is this marvel told, That He wears a crown of linked thorns instead of one of gold.
Where there are thorns are roses, and I saw a line of red, A little wreath of roses around His radiant head.
A red rose is His Sacred Heart, a white rose is His face, And His breath has turned the barren world to a rich and flowery place.
He is the Rose of Sharon, His gardener am I, And I shall drink His fragrance in Heaven when I die.


Written by George Eliot | |

Roses

 You love the roses - so do I.
I wish The sky would rain down roses, as they rain From off the shaken bush.
Why will it not? Then all the valley would be pink and white And soft to tread on.
They would fall as light As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!


Written by George Eliot | |

I Grant You Ample Leave

 "I grant you ample leave 
To use the hoary formula 'I am' 
Naming the emptiness where thought is not; 
But fill the void with definition, 'I' 
Will be no more a datum than the words 
You link false inference with, the 'Since' & 'so' 
That, true or not, make up the atom-whirl.
Resolve your 'Ego', it is all one web With vibrant ether clotted into worlds: Your subject, self, or self-assertive 'I' Turns nought but object, melts to molecules, Is stripped from naked Being with the rest Of those rag-garments named the Universe.
Or if, in strife to keep your 'Ego' strong You make it weaver of the etherial light, Space, motion, solids & the dream of Time -- Why, still 'tis Being looking from the dark, The core, the centre of your consciousness, That notes your bubble-world: sense, pleasure, pain, What are they but a shifting otherness, Phantasmal flux of moments? --"


Written by George Eliot | |

In a London Drawingroom

 The sky is cloudy, yellowed by the smoke.
For view there are the houses opposite Cutting the sky with one long line of wall Like solid fog: far as the eye can stretch Monotony of surface & of form Without a break to hang a guess upon.
No bird can make a shadow as it flies, For all is shadow, as in ways o'erhung By thickest canvass, where the golden rays Are clothed in hemp.
No figure lingering Pauses to feed the hunger of the eye Or rest a little on the lap of life.
All hurry on & look upon the ground, Or glance unmarking at the passers by The wheels are hurrying too, cabs, carriages All closed, in multiplied identity.
The world seems one huge prison-house & court Where men are punished at the slightest cost, With lowest rate of colour, warmth & joy.


Written by George Eliot | |

Mid My Gold-Brown Curls

 'Mid my gold-brown curls 
There twined a silver hair: 
I plucked it idly out 
And scarcely knew 'twas there.
Coiled in my velvet sleeve it lay And like a serpent hissed: "Me thou canst pluck & fling away, One hair is lightly missed; But how on that near day When all the wintry army muster in array?"


Written by George Eliot | |

Sweet Endings Come and Go Love

 "La noche buena se viene, 
La noche buena se va, 
Y nosotros nos iremos 
Y no volveremos mas.
" -- Old Villancico.
Sweet evenings come and go, love, They came and went of yore: This evening of our life, love, Shall go and come no more.
When we have passed away, love, All things will keep their name; But yet no life on earth, love, With ours will be the same.
The daisies will be there, love, The stars in heaven will shine: I shall not feel thy wish, love, Nor thou my hand in thine.
A better time will come, love, And better souls be born: I would not be the best, love, To leave thee now forlorn.


Written by George Eliot | |

The Choir Invisible

 Oh, may I join the choir invisible 
Of those immortal dead who live again 
In minds made better by their presence; live 
In pulses stirred to generosity, 
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn 
For miserable aims that end with self, 
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, 
And with their mild persistence urge men's search 
To vaster issues.
So to live is heaven: To make undying music in the world, Breathing a beauteous order that controls With growing sway the growing life of man.
So we inherit that sweet purity For which we struggled, failed, and agonized With widening retrospect that bred despair.
Rebellious flesh that would not be subdued, A vicious parent shaming still its child, Poor anxious penitence, is quick dissolved; Its discords, quenched by meeting harmonies, Die in the large and charitable air, And all our rarer, better, truer self That sobbed religiously in yearning song, That watched to ease the burden of the world, Laboriously tracing what must be, And what may yet be better, -- saw within A worthier image for the sanctuary, And shaped it forth before the multitude, Divinely human, raising worship so To higher reverence more mixed with love, -- That better self shall live till human Time Shall fold its eyelids, and the human sky Be gathered like a scroll within the tomb Unread forever.
This is life to come, -- Which martyred men have made more glorious For us who strive to follow.
May I reach That purest heaven, -- be to other souls The cup of strength in some great agony, Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love, Beget the smiles that have no cruelty, Be the sweet presence of a good diffused, And in diffusion ever more intense! So shall I join the choir invisible Whose music is the gladness of the world.


Written by George Eliot | |

Two Lovers

 Two lovers by a moss-grown spring:
They leaned soft cheeks together there,
Mingled the dark and sunny hair,
And heard the wooing thrushes sing.
O budding time! O love's blest prime! Two wedded from the portal stept: The bells made happy carolings, The air was soft as fanning wings, White petals on the pathway slept.
O pure-eyed bride! O tender pride! Two faces o'er a cradle bent: Two hands above the head were locked: These pressed each other while they rocked, Those watched a life that love had sent.
O solemn hour! O hidden power! Two parents by the evening fire: The red light fell about their knees On heads that rose by slow degrees Like buds upon the lily spire.
O patient life! O tender strife! The two still sat together there, The red light shone about their knees; But all the heads by slow degrees Had gone and left that lonely pair.
O voyage fast! O vanished past! The red light shone upon the floor And made the space between them wide; They drew their chairs up side by side, Their pale cheeks joined, and said, "Once more!" O memories! O past that is!