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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.

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by George Meredith | |

Modern Love XLVIII: Their Sense

 Their sense is with their senses all mixed in, 
Destroyed by subleties these women are! 
More brain, O Lord, more brain! or we shall mar 
Utterly this fair garden we might win.
Behold! I looked for peace, and thought it near.
Our inmost hearts had opened, each to each.
We drank the pure daylight of honest speech.
Alas I that was the fatal draught, I fear.
For when of my lost Lady came the word, This woman, O this agony of flesh! Jealous devotion bade her break the mesh, That I might seek that other like a bird.
I do adore the nobleness! despise The act! She has gone forth, I know not where.
Will the hard world my sentience of her share? I feel the truth; so let the world surmise.


by George Meredith | |

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.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love XLVII: We Saw the Swallows

 We saw the swallows gathering in the sky, 
And in the osier-isle we heard them noise.
We had not to look back on summer joys, Or forward to a summer of bright dye: But in the largeness of the evening earth Our spirits grew as we went side by side.
The hour became her husband and my bride.
Love that had robbed us so, thus blessed our dearth! The pilgrims of the year waxed very loud In multitudinous chatterings, as the flood Full brown came from the West, and like pale blood Expanded to the upper crimson cloud.
Love that had robbed us of immortal things, This little moment mercifully gave, Where I have seen across the twilight wave The swan sail with her young beneath her wings.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love IX: He Felt the Wild Beast

 He felt the wild beast in him betweenwhiles 
So masterfully rude, that he would grieve 
To see the helpless delicate thing receive 
His guardianship through certain dark defiles.
Had he not teeth to rend, and hunger too? But still he spared her.
Once: 'Have you no fear ?' He said: 'twas dusk; she in his grasp; none near.
She laughed: 'No, surely; am I not with you?' And uttering that soft starry 'you,' she leaned Her gentle body near him, looking up; And from her eyes, as from a poison-cup, He drank until the flittering eyelids screened.
Devilish malignant witch and oh, young beam Of heaven's circle-glory! Here thy shape To squeeze like an intoxicating grape I might, and yet thou goest safe, supreme.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love L: Thus Piteously Love

 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!


by George Meredith | |

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.


by George Meredith | |

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.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love XLVI: At Last We Parley

 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.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love I: By This He Knew She Wept

 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.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love II: It Ended and the Morrow

 It ended, and the morrow brought the task.
Her eyes were guilty gates, that let him in By shutting all too zealous for their sin: Each sucked a secret, and each wore a mask.
But, oh, the bitter taste her beauty had! He sickened as at breath of poison-flowers: A languid humour stole among the hours, And if their smiles encountered, he went mad, And raged deep inward, till the light was brown Before his vision, and the world, forgot, Looked wicked as some old dull murder-spot.
A star with lurid beams, she seemed to crown The pit of infamy: and then again He fainted on his vengefulness, and strove To ape the magnanimity of love, And smote himself, a shuddering heap of pain.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love III: This Was the Woman

 This was the woman; what now of the man? 
But pass him.
If he comes beneath a heel, He shall be crushed until he cannot feel, Or, being callous, haply till he can.
But he is nothing:--nothing? Only mark The rich light striking out from her on him! Ha! what a sense it is when her eyes swim Across the man she singles, leaving dark All else! Lord God, who mad'st the thing so fair, See that I am drawn to her even now! It cannot be such harm on her cool brow To put a kiss? Yet if I meet him there! But she is mine! Ah, no! I know too well I claim a star whose light is overcast: I claim a phantom-woman in the Past.
The hour has struck, though I heard not the bell!


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love IV: All Other Joys of Life

 All other joys of life he strove to warm, 
And magnify, and catch them to his lip: 
But they had suffered shipwreck with the ship, 
And gazed upon him sallow from the storm.
Or if Delusion came, 'twas but to show The coming minute mock the one that went.
Cold as a mountain in its star-pitched tent, Stood high Philosophy, less friend than foe: Whom self-caged Passion, from its prison-bars, Is always watching with a wondering hate.
Not till the fire is dying in the grate, Look we for any kinship with the stars.
Oh, wisdom never comes when it is gold, And the great price we pay for it full worth: We have it only when we are half earth.
Little avails that coinage to the old!


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love VII: She Issues Radiant

 She issues radiant from her dressing-room, 
Like one prepared to scale an upper sphere: 
--By stirring up a lower, much I fear 
How deftly that oiled barber lays his bloom 
That long-shanked dapper Cupid with frisked curls 
Can make known women torturingly fair; 
The gold-eyed serpent dwelling in rich hair, 
Awakes beneath his magic whisks and twirls.
His art can take the eyes from out my head, Until I see with eyes of other men; While deeper knowledge crouches in its den, And sends a spark up:--is it true we are wed? Yea! filthiness of body is most vile, But faithlessness of heart I do hold worse.
The former, it were not so great a curse To read on the steel-mirror of her smile.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love V: A Message from Her

 A message from her set his brain aflame.
A world of household matters filled her mind, Wherein he saw hypocrisy designed: She treated him as something that is tame, And but at other provocation bites.
Familiar was her shoulder in the glass, Through that dark rain: yet it may come to pass That a changed eye finds such familiar sights More keenly tempting than new loveliness.
The 'What has been' a moment seemed his own: The splendours, mysteries, dearer because known, Nor less divine: Love's inmost sacredness Called to him, 'Come!'--In his restraining start, Eyes nurtured to be looked at, scarce could see A wave of the great waves of Destiny Convulsed at a checked impulse of the heart.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love VI: It Chanced His Lips Did Meet

 It chanced his lips did meet her forehead cool.
She had no blush, but slanted down her eye.
Shamed nature, then, confesses love can die: And most she punishes the tender fool Who will believe what honours her the most! Dead! is it dead? She has a pulse, and flow Of tears, the price of blood-drops, as I know, For whom the midnight sobs around Love's ghost, Since then I heard her, and so will sob on.
The love is here; it has but changed its aim.
O bitter barren woman! what's the name? The name, the name, the new name thou hast won? Behold me striking the world's coward stroke! That will I not do, though the sting is dire.
Beneath the surface this, while by the fire They sat, she laughing at a quiet joke.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love VIII: Yet It Was Plain She Struggled

 Yet it was plain she struggled, and that salt 
Of righteous feeling made her pitiful.
Poor twisting worm, so queenly beautiful! Where came the cleft between us? whose the fault? My tears are on thee, that have rarely dropped As balm for any bitter wound of mine: My breast will open for thee at a sign! But, no: we are two reed-pipes, coarsely stopped: The God once filled them with his mellow breath; And they were music till he flung them down, Used! used! Hear now the discord-loving clown Puff his gross spirit in them, worse than death I do not know myself without thee more: In this unholy battle I grow base: If the same soul be under the same face, Speak, and a taste of that old time restore!


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love X: But Where Began the Change

 But where began the change; and what's my crime? 
The wretch condemned, who has not been arraigned, 
Chafes at his sentence.
Shall I, unsustained, Drag on Love's nerveless body thro' all time? I must have slept, since now I wake.
Prepare, You lovers, to know Love a thing of moods: Not like hard life, of laws.
In Love's deep woods, I dreamt of loyal Life:--the offence is there! Love's jealous woods about the sun are curled; At least, the sun far brighter there did beam.
My crime is, that the puppet of a dream, I plotted to be worthy of the world.
Oh, had I with my darling helped to mince The facts of life, you still had seen me go With hindward feather and with forward toe, Her much-adored delightful Fairy Prince!


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love XI: Out in the Yellow Meadows

 Out in the yellow meadows, where the bee 
Hums by us with the honey of the Spring, 
And showers of sweet notes from the larks on wing, 
Are dropping like a noon-dew, wander we.
Or is it now? or was it then? for now, As then, the larks from running rings pour showers: The golden foot of May is on the flowers, And friendly shadows dance upon her brow.
What's this, when Nature swears there is no change To challenge eyesight? Now, as then, the grace Of heaven seems holding earth in its embrace.
Nor eyes, nor heart, has she to feel it strange? Look, woman, in the West.
There wilt thou see An amber cradle near the sun's decline: Within it, featured even in death divine, Is lying a dead infant, slain by thee.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love XII: Not Solely That the Future

 Not solely that the Future she destroys, 
And the fair life which in the distance lies 
For all men, beckoning out from dim rich skies: 
Nor that the passing hour's supporting joys 
Have lost the keen-edged flavour, which begat 
Distinction in old times, and still should breed 
Sweet Memory, and Hope,--earth's modest seed, 
And heaven's high-prompting: not that the world is flat 
Since that soft-luring creature I embraced, 
Among the children of Illusion went: 
Methinks with all this loss I were content, 
If the mad Past, on which my foot is based, 
Were firm, or might be blotted: but the whole 
Of life is mixed: the mocking Past will stay: 
And if I drink oblivion of a day, 
So shorten I the stature of my soul.


by George Meredith | |

Modern Love XIII: I Play for Seasons Not Eternities

 'I play for Seasons; not Eternities!' 
Says Nature, laughing on her way.
'So must All those whose stake is nothing more than dust!' And lo, she wins, and of her harmonies She is full sure! Upon her dying rose, She drops a look of fondness, and goes by, Scarce any retrospection in her eye; For she the laws of growth most deeply knows, Whose hands bear, here, a seed-bag--there, an urn.
Pledges she herself to aught, 'twould mark her end! This lesson of our only visible friend, Can we not teach our foolish hearts to learn ? Yes! yes !--but, oh, our human rose is fair Surpassingly! Lose calmly Love's great bliss, When the renewed for ever of a kiss Whirls life within the shower of loosened hair!