Submit Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best Famous George Meredith Poems

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

Search for the best famous George Meredith poems, articles about George Meredith poems, poetry blogs, or anything else George Meredith poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See Also:
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Meditation under Stars

 What links are ours with orbs that are
So resolutely far:
The solitary asks, and they
Give radiance as from a shield:
Still at the death of day,
The seen, the unrevealed.
Implacable they shine To us who would of Life obtain An answer for the life we strain To nourish with one sign.
Nor can imagination throw The penetrative shaft: we pass The breath of thought, who would divine If haply they may grow As Earth; have our desire to know; If life comes there to grain from grass, And flowers like ours of toil and pain; Has passion to beat bar, Win space from cleaving brain; The mystic link attain, Whereby star holds on star.
Those visible immortals beam Allurement to the dream: Ireful at human hungers brook No question in the look.
For ever virgin to our sense, Remote they wane to gaze intense: Prolong it, and in ruthlessness they smite The beating heart behind the ball of sight: Till we conceive their heavens hoar, Those lights they raise but sparkles frore, And Earth, our blood-warm Earth, a shuddering prey To that frigidity of brainless ray.
Yet space is given for breath of thought Beyond our bounds when musing: more When to that musing love is brought, And love is asked of love's wherefore.
'Tis Earth's, her gift; else have we nought: Her gift, her secret, here our tie.
And not with her and yonder sky? Bethink you: were it Earth alone Breeds love, would not her region be The sole delight and throne Of generous Deity? To deeper than this ball of sight Appeal the lustrous people of the night.
Fronting yon shoreless, sown with fiery sails, It is our ravenous that quails, Flesh by its craven thirsts and fears distraught.
The spirit leaps alight, Doubts not in them is he, The binder of his sheaves, the sane, the right: Of magnitude to magnitude is wrought, To feel it large of the great life they hold: In them to come, or vaster intervolved, The issues known in us, our unsolved solved: That there with toil Life climbs the self-same Tree, Whose roots enrichment have from ripeness dropped.
So may we read and little find them cold: Let it but be the lord of Mind to guide Our eyes; no branch of Reason's growing lopped; Nor dreaming on a dream; but fortified By day to penetrate black midnight; see, Hear, feel, outside the senses; even that we, The specks of dust upon a mound of mould, We who reflect those rays, though low our place, To them are lastingly allied.
So may we read, and little find them cold: Not frosty lamps illumining dead space, Not distant aliens, not senseless Powers.
The fire is in them whereof we are born; The music of their motion may be ours.
Spirit shall deem them beckoning Earth and voiced Sisterly to her, in her beams rejoiced.
Of love, the grand impulsion, we behold The love that lends her grace Among the starry fold.
Then at new flood of customary morn, Look at her through her showers, Her mists, her streaming gold, A wonder edges the familiar face: She wears no more that robe of printed hours; Half strange seems Earth, and sweeter than her flowers.
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Loves Grave

 MARK where the pressing wind shoots javelin-like, 
Its skeleton shadow on the broad-back'd wave! 
Here is a fitting spot to dig Love's grave; 
Here where the ponderous breakers plunge and strike, 
And dart their hissing tongues high up the sand: 
In hearing of the ocean, and in sight 
Of those ribb'd wind-streaks running into white.
If I the death of Love had deeply plann'd, I never could have made it half so sure, As by the unblest kisses which upbraid The full-waked sense; or failing that, degrade! 'Tis morning: but no morning can restore What we have forfeited.
I see no sin: The wrong is mix'd.
In tragic life, God wot, No villain need be! Passions spin the plot: We are betray'd by what is false within.
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Modern Love XLI: How Many a Thing

 How many a thing which we cast to the ground, 
When others pick it up becomes a gem! 
We grasp at all the wealth it is to them; 
And by reflected light its worth is found.
Yet for us still 'tis nothing! and that zeal Of false appreciation quickly fades.
This truth is little known to human shades, How rare from their own instinct 'tis to feel! They waste the soul with spurious desire, That is not the ripe flame upon the bough.
We two have taken up a lifeless vow To rob a living passion: dust for fire! Madam is grave, and eyes the clock that tells Approaching midnight.
We have struck despair Into two hearts.
O, look we like a pair Who for fresh nuptials joyfully yield all else?
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Dirge in Woods

 A wind sways the pines,
And below
Not a breath of wild air;
Still as the mosses that glow
On the flooring and over the lines
Of the roots here and there.
The pine-tree drops its dead; They are quiet, as under the sea.
Overhead, overhead Rushes life in a race, As the clouds the clouds chase; And we go, And we drop like the fruits of the tree, Even we, Even so.
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Modern Love: I

 By this he knew she wept with waking eyes:
That, at his hand's light quiver by her head,
The strange low sobs that shook their common bed
Were called into her with a sharp surprise,
And strangled mute, like little gaping snakes,
Dreadfully venomous to him.
She lay Stone-still, and the long darkness flowed away With muffled pulses.
Then, as midnight makes Her giant heart of Memory and Tears Drink the pale drug of silence, and so beat Sleep's heavy measure, they from head to feet Were moveless, looking through their dead black years, By vain regret scrawled over the blank wall.
Like sculptured effigies they might be seen Upon their marriage-tomb, the sword between; Each wishing for the sword that severs all.
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Modern Love: XLVI

 At last we parley: we so strangely dumb
In such a close communion! It befell
About the sounding of the Matin-bell,
And lo! her place was vacant, and the hum
Of loneliness was round me.
Then I rose, And my disordered brain did guide my foot To that old wood where our first love-salute Was interchanged: the source of many throes! There did I see her, not alone.
I moved Toward her, and made proffer of my arm.
She took it simply, with no rude alarm; And that disturbing shadow passed reproved.
I felt the pained speech coming, and declared My firm belief in her, ere she could speak.
A ghastly morning came into her cheek, While with a widening soul on me she stared.
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Modern Love XXXV: It Is No Vulgar Nature

 It is no vulgar nature I have wived.
Secretive, sensitive, she takes a wound Deep to her soul, as if the sense had swooned, And not a thought of vengeance had survived.
No confidences has she: but relief Must come to one whose suffering is acute.
O have a care of natures that are mute! They punish you in acts: their steps are brief.
What is she doing? What does she demand From Providence or me? She is not one Long to endure this torpidly, and shun The drugs that crowd about a woman's hand.
At Forfeits during snow we played, and I Must kiss her.
'Well performed!' I said: then she: ''Tis hardly worth the money, you agree?' Save her? What for? To act this wedded lie!
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Lucifer in Starlight

 On a starred night Prince Lucifer uprose.
Tired of his dark dominion swung the fiend Above the rolling ball in cloud part screened, Where sinners hugged their spectre of repose.
Poor prey to his hot fit of pride were those.
And now upon his western wing he leaned, Now his huge bulk o'er Afric's sands careened, Now the black planet shadowed Arctic snows.
Soaring through wider zones that pricked his scars With memory of the old revolt from Awe, He reached a middle height, and at the stars, Which are the brain of heaven, he looked, and sank.
Around the ancient track marched, rank on rank, The army of unalterable law.
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Juggling Jerry

 Pitch here the tent, while the old horse grazes:
By the old hedge-side we'll halt a stage.
It's nigh my last above the daisies: My next leaf'll be man's blank page.
Yes, my old girl! and it's no use crying: Juggler, constable, king, must bow.
One that outjuggles all's been spying Long to have me, and he has me now.
We've travelled times to this old common: Often we've hung our pots in the gorse.
We've had a stirring life, old woman! You, and I, and the old grey horse.
Races, and fairs, and royal occasions, Found us coming to their call: Now they'll miss us at our stations: There's a Juggler outjuggles all! Up goes the lark, as if all were jolly! Over the duck-pond the willow shakes.
Easy to think that grieving's folly, When the hand's firm as driven stakes! Ay, when we're strong, and braced, and manful, Life's a sweet fiddle: but we're a batch Born to become the Great Juggler's han'ful: Balls he shies up, and is safe to catch.
Here's where the lads of the village cricket: I was a lad not wide from here: Couldn't I whip off the bale from the wicket? Like an old world those days appear! Donkey, sheep, geese, and thatch'd ale-house--I know them! They are old friends of my halts, and seem, Somehow, as if kind thanks I owe them: Juggling don't hinder the heart's esteem.
Juggling's no sin, for we must have victual: Nature allows us to bait for the fool.
Holding one's own makes us juggle no little; But, to increase it, hard juggling's the rule.
You that are sneering at my profession, Haven't you juggled a vast amount? There's the Prime Minister, in one Session, Juggles more games than my sins'll count.
I've murdered insects with mock thunder: Conscience, for that, in men don't quail.
I've made bread from the bump of wonder: That's my business, and there's my tale.
Fashion and rank all praised the professor: Ay! and I've had my smile from the Queen: Bravo, Jerry! she meant: God bless her! Ain't this a sermon on that scene? I've studied men from my topsy-turvy Close, and, I reckon, rather true.
Some are fine fellows: some, right scurvy: Most, a dash between the two.
But it's a woman, old girl, that makes me Think more kindly of the race: And it's a woman, old girl, that shakes me When the Great Juggler I must face.
We two were married, due and legal: Honest we've lived since we've been one.
Lord! I could then jump like an eagle: You danced bright as a bit o' the sun.
Birds in a May-bush we were! right merry! All night we kiss'd, we juggled all day.
Joy was the heart of Juggling Jerry! Now from his old girl he's juggled away.
It's past parsons to console us: No, nor no doctor fetch for me: I can die without my bolus; Two of a trade, lass, never agree! Parson and Doctor!--don't they love rarely Fighting the devil in other men's fields! Stand up yourself and match him fairly: Then see how the rascal yields! I, lass, have lived no gipsy, flaunting Finery while his poor helpmate grubs: Coin I've stored, and you won't be wanting: You shan't beg from the troughs and tubs.
Nobly you've stuck to me, though in his kitchen Many a Marquis would hail you Cook! Palaces you could have ruled and grown rich in, But your old Jerry you never forsook.
Hand up the chirper! ripe ale winks in it; Let's have comfort and be at peace.
Once a stout draught made me light as a linnet.
Cheer up! the Lord must have his lease.
May be--for none see in that black hollow-- It's just a place where we're held in pawn, And, when the Great Juggler makes as to swallow, It's just the sword-trick--I ain't quite gone! Yonder came smells of the gorse, so nutty, Gold-like and warm: it's the prime of May.
Better than mortar, brick and putty Is God's house on a blowing day.
Lean me more up the mound; now I feel it: All the old heath-smells! Ain't it strange? There's the world laughing, as if to conceal it, But He's by us, juggling the change.
I mind it well, by the sea-beach lying, Once--it's long gone--when two gulls we beheld, Which, as the moon got up, were flying Down a big wave that sparked and swell'd.
Crack, went a gun: one fell: the second Wheeled round him twice, and was off for new luck: There in the dark her white wing beckon'd:-- Drop me a kiss--I'm the bird dead-struck!
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Phoebus with Admetus

 WHEN by Zeus relenting the mandate was revoked, 
 Sentencing to exile the bright Sun-God, 
Mindful were the ploughmen of who the steer had yoked, 
 Who: and what a track show'd the upturn'd sod! 
Mindful were the shepherds, as now the noon severe 
 Bent a burning eyebrow to brown evetide, 
How the rustic flute drew the silver to the sphere, 
 Sister of his own, till her rays fell wide.
God! of whom music And song and blood are pure, The day is never darken'd That had thee here obscure.
Chirping none, the scarlet cicalas crouch'd in ranks: Slack the thistle-head piled its down-silk gray: Scarce the stony lizard suck'd hollows in his flanks: Thick on spots of umbrage our drowsed flocks lay.
Sudden bow'd the chestnuts beneath a wind unheard, Lengthen'd ran the grasses, the sky grew slate: Then amid a swift flight of wing'd seed white as curd, Clear of limb a Youth smote the master's gate.
God! of whom music And song and blood are pure, The day is never darken'd That had thee here obscure.
Water, first of singers, o'er rocky mount and mead, First of earthly singers, the sun-loved rill, Sang of him, and flooded the ripples on the reed, Seeking whom to waken and what ear fill.
Water, sweetest soother to kiss a wound and cool, Sweetest and divinest, the sky-born brook, Chuckled, with a whimper, and made a mirror-pool Round the guest we welcomed, the strange hand shook.
God! of whom music And song and blood are pure, The day is never darken'd That had thee here obscure.
Many swarms of wild bees descended on our fields: Stately stood the wheatstalk with head bent high: Big of heart we labour'd at storing mighty yields, Wool and corn, and clusters to make men cry! Hand-like rush'd the vintage; we strung the bellied skins Plump, and at the sealing the Youth's voice rose: Maidens clung in circle, on little fists their chins; Gentle beasties through push'd a cold long nose.
God! of whom music And song and blood are pure, The day is never darken'd That had thee here obscure.
Foot to fire in snowtime we trimm'd the slender shaft: Often down the pit spied the lean wolf's teeth Grin against his will, trapp'd by masterstrokes of craft; Helpless in his froth-wrath as green logs seethe! Safe the tender lambs tugg'd the teats, and winter sped Whirl'd before the crocus, the year's new gold.
Hung the hooky beak up aloft, the arrowhead Redden'd through his feathers for our dear fold.
God! of whom music And song and blood are pure, The day is never darken'd That had thee here obscure.
Tales we drank of giants at war with gods above: Rocks were they to look on, and earth climb'd air! Tales of search for simples, and those who sought of love Ease because the creature was all too fair.
Pleasant ran our thinking that while our work was good.
Sure as fruits for sweat would the praise come fast.
He that wrestled stoutest and tamed the billow-brood Danced in rings with girls, like a sail-flapp'd mast.
God! of whom music And song and blood are pure, The day is never darken'd That had thee here obscure.
Lo, the herb of healing, when once the herb is known, Shines in shady woods bright as new-sprung flame.
Ere the string was tighten'd we heard the mellow tone, After he had taught how the sweet sounds came.
Stretch'd about his feet, labour done, 'twas as you see Red pomegranates tumble and burst hard rind.
So began contention to give delight and be Excellent in things aim'd to make life kind.
God! of whom music And song and blood are pure, The day is never darken'd That had thee here obscure.
You with shelly horns, rams! and, promontory goats, You whose browsing beards dip in coldest dew! Bulls, that walk the pastures in kingly-flashing coats! Laurel, ivy, vine, wreathed for feasts not few! You that build the shade-roof, and you that court the rays, You that leap besprinkling the rock stream-rent: He has been our fellow, the morning of our days; Us he chose for housemates, and this way went.
God! of whom music And song and blood are pure, The day is never darken'd That had thee here obscure.
NOW the North wind ceases, The warm South-west awakes; Swift fly the fleeces, Thick the blossom-flakes.
Now hill to hill has made the stride, And distance waves the without-end: Now in the breast a door flings wide; Our farthest smiles, our next is friend.
And song of England's rush of flowers Is this full breeze with mellow stops, That spins the lark for shine, for showers; He drinks his hurried flight, and drops.
The stir in memory seem these things, Which out of moisten'd turf and clay, Astrain for light push patient rings, Or leap to find the waterway.
'Tis equal to a wonder done, Whatever simple lives renew Their tricks beneath the father sun, As though they caught a broken clue: So hard was earth an eyewink back; But now the common life has come, The blotting cloud a dappled pack, The grasses one vast underhum.
A City clothed in snow and soot, With lamps for day in ghostly rows, Breaks to the scene of hosts afoot, The river that reflective flows: And there did fog down crypts of street Play spectre upon eye and mouth:-- Their faces are a glass to greet This magic of the whirl for South.
A burly joy each creature swells With sound of its own hungry quest; Earth has to fill her empty wells, And speed the service of the nest; The phantom of the snow-wreath melt, That haunts the farmer's look abroad, Who sees what tomb a white night built, Where flocks now bleat and sprouts the clod.
For iron Winter held her firm; Across her sky he laid his hand; And bird he starved, he stiffen'd worm; A sightless heaven, a shaven land.
Her shivering Spring feign'd fast asleep, The bitten buds dared not unfold: We raced on roads and ice to keep Thought of the girl we love from cold.
But now the North wind ceases, The warm South-west awakes, The heavens are out in fleeces, And earth's green banner shakes.
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Modern Love XIV: What Soul Would Bargain

 What soul would bargain for a cure that brings
Contempt the nobler agony to kill?
Rather let me bear on the bitter ill,
And strike this rusty bosom with new stings!
It seems there is another veering fit
Since on a gold-haired lady's eyeballs pure,
I looked with little prospect of a cure,
The while her mouth's red bow loosed shafts of wit.
Just heaven! can it be true that jealousy Has decked the woman thus? and does her head Swim somewhat for possessions forfeited? Madam, you teach me many things that be.
I open an old book, and there I find That "Women still may love whom they deceive.
" Such love I prize not, madam: by your leave, The game you play at is not to my mind.
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Modern Love XXIX: Am I Failing

 Am I failing ? For no longer can I cast 
A glory round about this head of gold.
Glory she wears, but springing from the mould; Not like the consecration of the Past! Is my soul beggared? Something more than earth I cry for still: I cannot be at peace In having Love upon a' mortal lease.
I cannot take the woman at her worth! Where is the ancient wealth wherewith I clothed Our human nakedness, and could endow With spiritual splendour a white brow That else had grinned at me the fact I loathed ? A kiss is but a kiss now! and no wave Of a great flood that whirls me to the sea.
But, as you will! we'll sit contentedly, And eat our pot of honey on the grave.
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Modern Love: L

 Thus piteously Love closed what he begat:
The union of this ever-diverse pair!
These two were rapid falcons in a snare,
Condemned to do the flitting of the bat.
Lovers beneath the singing sky of May, They wandered once; clear as the dew on flowers: But they fed not on the advancing hours: Their hearts held cravings for the buried day.
Then each applied to each that fatal knife, Deep questioning, which probes to endless dole.
Ah, what a dusty answer gets the soul When hot for certainties in this our life!-- In tragic hints here see what evermore Moves dark as yonder midnight ocean's force, Thundering like ramping hosts of warrior horse, To throw that faint thin line upon the shore!
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Modern Love: XIV

 What soul would bargain for a cure that brings
Contempt the nobler agony to kill?
Rather let me bear on the bitter ill,
And strike this rusty bosom with new stings!
It seems there is another veering fit
Since on a gold-haired lady's eyeballs pure,
I looked with little prospect of a cure,
The while her mouth's red bow loosed shafts of wit.
Just heaven! can it be true that jealousy Has decked the woman thus? and does her head Swim somewhat for possessions forfeited? Madam, you teach me many things that be.
I open an old book, and there I find That "Women still may love whom they deceive.
" Such love I prize not, madam: by your leave, The game you play at is not to my mind.
Written by George Meredith | Create an image from this poem

Modern Love XXX: What Are We First

 What are we first? First, animals; and next 
Intelligences at a leap; on whom 
Pale lies the distant shadow of the tomb, 
And all that draweth on the tomb for text.
Into which state comes Love, the crowning sun: Beneath whose light the shadow loses form.
We are the lords of life, and life is warm.
Intelligence and instinct now are one.
But nature says: 'My children most they seem When they least know me: therefore I decree That they shall suffer.
' Swift doth young Love flee, And we stand wakened, shivering from our dream.
Then if we study Nature we are wise.
Thus do the few who live but with the day: The scientific animals are they.
Lady, this is my sonnet to your eyes.