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Best Famous Beauty Poems

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

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by William Butler Yeats | |

When You are Old

WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep 
And nodding by the fire, take down this book, 
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look 
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; 

How many loved your moments of glad grace, 
And loved your beauty with love false or true; 
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, 
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead, And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.


by Ben Jonson | |

His Excuse for Loving

Let it not your wonder move, 
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years, I have had, and have, my peers.
Poets, though divine, are men; Some have loved as old again.
And it is not always face, Clothes, or fortune gives the grace, Or the feature, or the youth; But the language and the truth, With the ardor and the passion, Gives the lover weight and fashion.
If you then would hear the story, First, prepare you to be sorry That you never knew till now Either whom to love or how; But be glad as soon with me When you hear that this is she Of whose beauty it was sung, She shall make the old man young, Keep the middle age at stay, And let nothing hide decay, Till she be the reason why All the world for love may die.


by George (Lord) Byron | |

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in Beauty, like the night 
Of cloudless climes and starry skies; 
And all that's best of dark and bright 
Meet in her aspect and her eyes: 
Thus mellowed to that tender light 
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impaired the nameless grace Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o'er her face; Where thoughts serenely sweet express, How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, The smiles that win, the tints that glow, But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!


by William Blake | |

Cradle Song

SLEEP sleep beauty bright  
Dreaming in the joys of night; 
Sleep sleep; in thy sleep 
Little sorrows sit and weep.
Sweet babe in thy face 5 Soft desires I can trace Secret joys and secret smiles Little pretty infant wiles.
As thy softest limbs I feel Smiles as of the morning steal 10 O'er thy cheek and o'er thy breast Where thy little heart doth rest.
O the cunning wiles that creep In thy little heart asleep! When thy little heart doth wake 15 Then the dreadful night shall break.


by Thomas Moore | |

Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms

Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
   Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change by tomorrow, and fleet in my arms,
   Like fairy-gifts fading away,
Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art,
   Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
   Would entwine itself verdantly still.
It is not while beauty and youth are thine own, And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear That the fervor and faith of a soul can be known, To which time will but make thee more dear; No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets, But as truly loves on to the close, As the sunflower turns on her god, when he sets, The same look which she turned when he rose.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—
   For skies of couple-color as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him.


by Edgar Allan Poe | |

To Helen

Helen thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore 
That gently o'er a perfumed sea 
The weary wayworn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.
On desperate seas long wont to roam Thy hyacinth hair thy classic face Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece And the grandeur that was Rome.
Lo! in yon brilliant window-niche How statue-like I see thee stand The agate lamp within thy hand! Ah Psyche from the regions which Are Holy Land!


by Anna Akhmatova | |

And As Its Going...

An as it's going often at love's breaking,
The ghost of first days came again to us,
The silver willow through window then stretched in,
The silver beauty of her gentle branches.
The bird began to sing the song of light and pleasure To us, who fears to lift looks from the earth, Who are so lofty, bitter and intense, About days when we were saved together.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

Wild Orphan

Blandly mother 
takes him strolling 
by railroad and by river 
-he's the son of the absconded 
hot rod angel- 
and he imagines cars 
and rides them in his dreams, 

so lonely growing up among 
the imaginary automobiles 
and dead souls of Tarrytown 

to create 
out of his own imagination 
the beauty of his wild 
forebears-a mythology 
he cannot inherit.
Will he later hallucinate his gods? Waking among mysteries with an insane gleam of recollection? The recognition- something so rare in his soul, met only in dreams -nostalgias of another life.
A question of the soul.
And the injured losing their injury in their innocence -a cock, a cross, an excellence of love.
And the father grieves in flophouse complexities of memory a thousand miles away, unknowing of the unexpected youthful stranger bumming toward his door.
- New York, April 13, 1952


by Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings | |

O sweet spontaneous

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting

fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and
poked

thee
has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy

beauty .
how often have religions taken thee upon their scraggy knees squeezing and buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive gods (but true to the incomparable couch of death thy rhythmic lover thou answerest them only with spring)


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

The Rhodora - On Being Asked Whence Is the Flower

IN May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes, 
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods, 
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook, 
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals, fallen in the pool, 5 Made the black water with their beauty gay; Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool, And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, 10 Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing, Then Beauty is its own excuse for being: Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! I never thought to ask, I never knew: But, in my simple ignorance, suppose 15 The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.


by Wang Wei | |

THE BEAUTIFUL XI SHI

Since beauty is honoured all over the Empire, 
How could Xi Shi remain humbly at home? -- 
Washing clothes at dawn by a southern lake -- 
And that evening a great lady in a palace of the north: 
Lowly one day, no different from the others, 
The next day exalted, everyone praising her.
No more would her own hands powder her face Or arrange on her shoulders a silken robe.
And the more the King loved her, the lovelier she looked, Blinding him away from wisdom.
.
.
.
Girls who had once washed silk beside her Were kept at a distance from her chariot.
And none of the girls in her neighbours' houses By pursing their brows could copy her beauty.


by | |

On Elizabeth L. H.

 Epitaphs: i


WOULDST thou hear what Man can say 
In a little? Reader stay.
Underneath this stone doth lie As much Beauty as could die: Which in life did harbour give 5 To more Virtue than doth live.
If at all she had a fault Leave it buried in this vault.
One name was Elizabeth The other let it sleep with death: 10 Fitter where it died to tell Than that it lived at all.
Farewell.


by Philip Larkin | |

If Hands Could Free You Heart

 If hands could free you, heart,
 Where would you fly?
Far, beyond every part
Of earth this running sky
Makes desolate? Would you cross
City and hill and sea,
 If hands could set you free?

I would not lift the latch;
 For I could run
Through fields, pit-valleys, catch
All beauty under the sun--
Still end in loss:
I should find no bent arm, no bed
 To rest my head.


by Philip Larkin | |

Dublinesque

 Down stucco sidestreets,
Where light is pewter
And afternoon mist
Brings lights on in shops
Above race-guides and rosaries,
A funeral passes.
The hearse is ahead, But after there follows A troop of streetwalkers In wide flowered hats, Leg-of-mutton sleeves, And ankle-length dresses.
There is an air of great friendliness, As if they were honouring One they were fond of; Some caper a few steps, Skirts held skilfully (Someone claps time), And of great sadness also.
As they wend away A voice is heard singing Of Kitty, or Katy, As if the name meant once All love, all beauty.


by Philip Larkin | |

Maiden Name

 Marrying left yor maiden name disused.
Its five light sounds no longer mean your face, Your voice, and all your variants of grace; For since you were so thankfully confused By law with someone else, you cannot be Semantically the same as that young beauty: It was of her that these two words were used.
Now it's a phrase applicable to no one, Lying just where you left it, scattered through Old lists, old programmes, a school prize or two, Packets of letters tied with tartan ribbon - Then is it secentless, weightless, strengthless wholly Untruthful? Try whispering it slowly.
No, it means you.
Or, since your past and gone, It means what we feel now about you then: How beautiful you were, and near, and young, So vivid, you might still be there among Those first few days, unfingermarked again.
So your old name shelters our faithfulness, Instead of losing shape and meaning less With your depreciating luggage laiden.


by Philip Larkin | |

Like The Trains Beat

 Like the train's beat
Swift language flutters the lips
Of the Polish airgirl in the corner seat,
The swinging and narrowing sun
Lights her eyelashes, shapes
Her sharp vivacity of bone.
Hair, wild and controlled, runs back: And gestures like these English oaks Flash past the windows of her foreign talk.
The train runs on through wilderness Of cities.
Still the hammered miles Diversify behind her face.
And all humanity of interest Before her angled beauty falls, As whorling notes are pressed In a bird's throat, issuing meaningless Through written skies; a voice Watering a stony place.


by Christina Rossetti | |

De Profundis

 Oh why is heaven built so far,
 Oh why is earth set so remote?
I cannot reach the nearest star
 That hangs afloat.
I would not care to reach the moon, One round monotonous of change; Yet even she repeats her tune Beyond my range.
I never watch the scatter'd fire Of stars, or sun's far-trailing train, But all my heart is one desire, And all in vain: For I am bound with fleshly bands, Joy, beauty, lie beyond my scope; I strain my heart, I stretch my hands, And catch at hope.


by Vita Sackville-West | |

Moonlight

 What time the meanest brick and stone
Take on a beauty not their own,
And past the flaw of builded wood
Shines the intention whole and good,
And all the little homes of man
Rise to a dimmer, nobler span;
When colour's absence gives escape
To the deeper spirit of the shape,

-- Then earth's great architecture swells
Among her mountains and her fells
Under the moon to amplitude
Massive and primitive and rude:

-- Then do the clouds like silver flags
Stream out above the tattered crags,
And black and silver all the coast
Marshalls its hunched and rocky host,
And headlands striding sombrely
Buttress the land against the sea,
-- The darkened land, the brightening wave --
And moonlight slants through Merlin's cave.


by Wang Wei | |

My Retreat at Mount Zhongnan

 My heart in middle age found the Way.
And I came to dwell at the foot of this mountain.
When the spirit moves, I wander alone Amid beauty that is all for me.
.
.
.
I will walk till the water checks my path, Then sit and watch the rising clouds -- And some day meet an old wood-cutter And talk and laugh and never return.


by Phillis Wheatley | |

A Rebus By I. B.

 I.
A BIRD delicious to the taste, On which an army once did feast, Sent by an hand unseen; A creature of the horned race, Which Britain's royal standards grace; A gem of vivid green; II.
A town of gaiety and sport, Where beaux and beauteous nymphs resort, And gallantry doth reign; A Dardan hero fam'd of old For youth and beauty, as we're told, And by a monarch slain; III.
A peer of popular applause, Who doth our violated laws, And grievances proclaim.
Th' initials show a vanquish'd town, That adds fresh glory and renown To old Britannia's fame.


by Richard Wilbur | |

Museum Piece

 The good gray guardians of art
Patrol the halls on spongy shoes,
Impartially protective, though
Perhaps suspicious of Toulouse.
Here dozes one against the wall, Disposed upon a funeral chair.
A Degas dancer pirouettes Upon the parting of his hair.
See how she spins! The grace is there, But strain as well is plain to see.
Degas loved the two together: Beauty joined to energy.
Edgar Degas purchased once A fine El Greco, which he kept Against the wall beside his bed To hang his pants on while he slept.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

Binsey Poplars

 felled 1879


 My aspens dear, whose airy cages quelled,
 Quelled or quenched in leaves the leaping sun,
 All felled, felled, are all felled;
 Of a fresh and following folded rank
 Not spared, not one
 That dandled a sandalled
 Shadow that swam or sank
On meadow and river and wind-wandering weed-winding bank.
O if we but knew what we do When we delve or hew— Hack and rack the growing green! Since country is so tender To touch, her being só slender, That, like this sleek and seeing ball But a prick will make no eye at all, Where we, even where we mean To mend her we end her, When we hew or delve: After-comers cannot guess the beauty been.
Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve Strokes of havoc únselve The sweet especial scene, Rural scene, a rural scene, Sweet especial rural scene.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

The Windhover: To Christ Our Lord

 I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
 dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
 Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
 As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
 Rebuffed the big wind.
My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird,--the achieve of; the mastery of the thing! Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier! No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

Hurrahing In Harvest

 Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise
 Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour
 Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies? 
I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
 Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;
 And, éyes, heárt, what looks, what lips yet gave you a
Rapturous love's greeting of realer, of rounder replies? 

And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder
 Majestic—as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet!—
These things, these things were here and but the beholder
 Wanting; which two when they once meet,
The heart rears wings bold and bolder
 And hurls for him, O half hurls earth for him off under his feet.