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Best Famous Childhood Poems

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

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See also: Best Member Poems

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | |

Maidenhood

MAIDEN! with the meek brown eyes  
In whose orbs a shadow lies 
Like the dusk in evening skies! 

Thou whose locks outshine the sun  
Golden tresses wreathed in one 5 
As the braided streamlets run! 

Standing with reluctant feet  
Where the brook and river meet  
Womanhood and childhood fleet! 

Gazing with a timid glance 10 
On the brooklet's swift advance  
On the river's broad expanse! 

Deep and still that gliding stream 
Beautiful to thee must seem  
As the river of a dream.
15 Then why pause with indecision When bright angels in thy vision Beckon thee to fields Elysian? Seest thou shadows sailing by As the dove with startled eye 20 Sees the falcon's shadow fly? Hearest thou voices on the shore That our ears perceive no more Deafened by the cataract's roar? Oh thou child of many prayers! 25 Life hath quicksands Life hath snares! Care and age come unawares! Like the swell of some sweet tune Morning rises into noon May glides onward into June.
30 Childhood is the bough where slumbered Birds and blossoms many numbered;¡ª Age that bough with snows encumbered.
Gather then each flower that grows When the young heart overflows 35 To embalm that tent of snows.
Bear a lily in thy hand; Gates of brass cannot withstand One touch of that magic wand.
Bear through sorrow wrong and ruth 40 In thy heart the dew of youth On thy lips the smile of truth.
O that dew like balm shall steal Into wounds that cannot heal Even as sleep our eyes doth seal; 45 And that smile like sunshine dart Into many a sunless heart For a smile of God thou art.


by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

Immortal love forever full

 Immortal love, forever full,
Forever flowing free,
Forever shared, forever whole,
A never ebbing sea!

Our outward lips confess the name
All other names above;
Love only knoweth whence it came,
And comprehendeth love.
Blow, winds of God, awake and blow The mists of earth away: Shine out, O Light divine, and show How wide and far we stray.
We may not climb the heavenly steeps To bring the Lord Christ down; In vain we search the lowest deeps, For Him no depths can drown.
But warm, sweet, tender, even yet, A present help is He; And faith still has its Olivet, And love its Galilee.
The healing of His seamless dress Is by our beds of pain; We touch Him in life’s throng and press, And we are whole again.
Through Him the first fond prayers are said Our lips of childhood frame, The last low whispers of our dead Are burdened with His Name.
O Lord and Master of us all, Whate’er our name or sign, We own Thy sway, we hear Thy call, We test our lives by Thine.
The letter fails, the systems fall, And every symbol wanes; The Spirit over brooding all, Eternal Love remains.


by William Lisle Bowles | |

XI. Written at Ostend

 HOW sweet the tuneful bells' responsive peal! 
As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze 
Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease, 
So piercing to my heart their force I feel! 
And hark! with lessening cadence now they fall, 
And now, along the white and level tide, 
They fling their melancholy music wide, 
Bidding me many a tender thought recall 
Of summer-days, and those delightful years, 
When by my native streams, in life's fair prime, 
The mournful magic of their mingling chime 
First wak'd my wond'ring childhood into tears! 
But seeming now, when all those days are o'er, 
The sounds of joy, once heard, and heard no more.


More great poems below...

by William Lisle Bowles | |

Sonnet: At Ostend July 22nd 1787

 How sweet the tuneful bells' responsive peal!
As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze
Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease,
So piercing to my heart their force I feel!
And hark! with lessening cadence now they fall,
And now, along the white and level tide,
They fling their melancholy music wide,
Bidding me many a tender thought recall
Of summer-days, and those delightful years
When by my native streams, in life's fair prime,
The mournful magic of their mingling chime
First waked my wond'ring childhood into tears;— 
But seeming now, when all those days are o'er,
The sounds of joy, once heard, and heard no more.


by Majeed Amjad | |

Icon !

Where is she … ?!

That girl who stood on these ramparts years ago

Statuesque … iconic …besieged by the world

A deity …  worshiped by the early glow of my dreams !

Where is she now ?

That crazy-headed rebellious Truth

With the restless, quivering eye lashes

Who came to refute the sham of this world.
Under these ramparts, My breath is still patched and mended By the soft breeze of her existence Which once did battle against eternal stony walls But I wonder where she rests now That crazy-headed rebellious Truth ? This is how young, unfolding lives With their tinkling laughter Are lost forever in a dark enduring slumber What manner of sleep is this Whose sea-waves slowly crumble and erode All islands of the heart ? What kind of dreams are these That swim within this sleep Floating back … returning again and again… forever in this deep slumber ? Dreams .
.
.
whose childhood glow never fades away !! (Translated by Talat Afroze from the original Urdu text of the poem: Moortee);


by Lam Quang My | |

New Year’s Night

The lightening tears the night – thunder rolls 
Bans all coldness from the room
The smell of incense calls to childhood
Pulsating fire recalls the word “Mammy!”


by Julie Hill Alger | |

Pictures of Home

  In the red-roofed stucco house
of my childhood, the dining room 
was screened off by folding doors 
with small glass panes.
Our neighbors the Bertins, who barely escaped Hitler, often joined us at table.
One night their daughter said, In Vienna our dining room had doors like these.
For a moment, we all sat quite still.
And when Nath Nong, who has to live in Massachusetts now, saw a picture of green Cambodian fields she said, My father have animal like this, name krebey English? I told her, Water buffalo.
She said, Very very good animal.
She put her finger on the picture of the water buffalo and spoke its Khmer name once more.
So today, when someone (my ex- husband) sends me a shiny picture of a church in Santa Cruz that lost its steeple in the recent earthquake there's no reason at all for my throat to ache at the sight of a Pacific-blue sky and an old church three thousand miles away, because if I can only save enough money I can go back there any time and stay as long as I want.
-Julie Alger


by Walter de la Mare | |

The Remonstrance

 I was at peace until you came 
And set a careless mind aflame; 
I lived in quiet; cold, content; 
All longing in safe banishment, 
Until your ghostly lips and eyes 
Made wisdom unwise.
Naught was in me to tempt your feet To seek a lodging.
Quite forgot Lay the sweet solitude we two In childhood used to wander through; Time's cold had closed my heart about, And shut you out.
Well, and what then? .
.
.
O vision grave, Take all the little all I have! Strip me of what in voiceless throught Life's kept of life, unhoped, unsought! -- Reverie and dream that memory must Hide deep in dust! This only I say: Though cold and bare, The haunted house you have chosen to share, Still 'neath its walls the moonbeam goes And trembles on the untended rose; Still o'er its broken roof-tree rise The starry arches of the skies; And 'neath your lightest word shall be The thunder of an ebbing sea.


by A S J Tessimond | |

Any Man Speaks

 I, after difficult entry through my mother's blood
And stumbling childhood (hitting my head against the world);
I, intricate, easily unshipped, untracked, unaligned;
Cut off in my communications; stammering; speaking
A dialect shared by you, but not you and you;
I, strangely undeft, bereft; I searching always
For my lost rib (clothed in laughter yet understanding)
To come round the corner of Wardour Street into the Square
Or to signal across the Park and share my bed;
I, focus in night for star-sent beams of light,
I, fulcrum of levers whose end I cannot see .
.
.
Have this one deftness - that I admit undeftness: Know that the stars are far, the levers long: Can understand my unstrength.


by A S J Tessimond | |

Last Word To Childhood

 Ice-cold fear has slowly decreased
As my bones have grown, my height increased.
Though I shiver in snow of dreams, I shall never Freeze again in a noonday terror.
I shall never break, my sinews crumble As God-the-headmaster's fingers fumble At the other side of unopening doors Which I watch for a hundred thousand years.
I shall never feel my thin blood leak While darkness stretches a paw to strike Or Nothing beats an approaching drum Behind my back in a silent room.
I shall never, alone, meet the end of my world At the bend of a path, the turn of a wall: Never, or once more only, and That will be once and an end of end.


by Philip Larkin | |

I Remember I Remember

 Coming up England by a different line
For once, early in the cold new year,
We stopped, and, watching men with number plates
Sprint down the platform to familiar gates,
'Why, Coventry!' I exclaimed.
'I was born here.
' I leant far out, and squinnied for a sign That this was still the town that had been 'mine' So long, but found I wasn't even clear Which side was which.
From where those cycle-crates Were standing, had we annually departed For all those family hols? .
.
.
A whistle went: Things moved.
I sat back, staring at my boots.
'Was that,' my friend smiled, 'where you "have your roots"?' No, only where my childhood was unspent, I wanted to retort, just where I started: By now I've got the whole place clearly charted.
Our garden, first: where I did not invent Blinding theologies of flowers and fruits, And wasn't spoken to by an old hat.
And here we have that splendid family I never ran to when I got depressed, The boys all biceps and the girls all chest, Their comic Ford, their farm where I could be 'Really myself'.
I'll show you, come to that, The bracken where I never trembling sat, Determined to go through with it; where she Lay back, and 'all became a burning mist'.
And, in those offices, my doggerel Was not set up in blunt ten-point, nor read By a distinguished cousin of the mayor, Who didn't call and tell my father There Before us, had we the gift to see ahead - 'You look as though you wished the place in Hell,' My friend said, 'judging from your face.
' 'Oh well, I suppose it's not the place's fault,' I said.
'Nothing, like something, happens anywhere.
'


by Philip Larkin | |

Triple Time

 This empty street, this sky to blandness scoured,
This air, a little indistinct with autumn
Like a reflection, constitute the present --
A time traditionally soured,
A time unrecommended by event.
But equally they make up something else: This is the furthest future childhood saw Between long houses, under travelling skies, Heard in contending bells -- An air lambent with adult enterprise, And on another day will be the past, A valley cropped by fat neglected chances That we insensately forbore to fleece.
On this we blame our last Threadbare perspectives, seasonal decrease.


by Kathleen Raine | |

Lament

 Where are those dazzling hills touched by the sun,
Those crags in childhood that I used to climb?
Hidden, hidden under mist is yonder mountain,
Hidden is the heart.
A day of cloud, a lifetime falls between, Gone are the heather moors and the pure stream, Gone are the rocky places and the green, Hidden, hidden under sorrow is yonder mountain, Hidden, hidden.
O storm and gale of tears, whose blinding screen Makes weather of grief, snow's drifting curtain Palls th'immortal heights once seen.
Hidden, hidden is the heart, Hidden, hidden is the heart.


by William Stafford | |

A Ritual To Read To Each Other

 If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind, a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood storming out to play through the broken dyke.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail, but if one wanders the circus won't find the park, I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy, a remote important region in all who talk: though we could fool each other, we should consider-- lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake, or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe-- should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.


by Muriel Rukeyser | |

St. Roach

 For that I never knew you, I only learned to dread you,
for that I never touched you, they told me you are filth,
they showed me by every action to despise your kind;
for that I saw my people making war on you,
I could not tell you apart, one from another,
for that in childhood I lived in places clear of you,
for that all the people I knew met you by
crushing you, stamping you to death, they poured boiling
water on you, they flushed you down,
for that I could not tell one from another
only that you were dark, fast on your feet, and slender.
Not like me.
For that I did not know your poems And that I do not know any of your sayings And that I cannot speak or read your language And that I do not sing your songs And that I do not teach our children to eat your food or know your poems or sing your songs But that we say you are filthing our food But that we know you not at all.
Yesterday I looked at one of you for the first time.
You were lighter that the others in color, that was neither good nor bad.
I was really looking for the first time.
You seemed troubled and witty.
Today I touched one of you for the first time.
You were startled, you ran, you fled away Fast as a dancer, light, strange, and lovely to the touch.
I reach, I touch, I begin to know you.


by Mark Strand | |

Giving Myself Up

 I give up my eyes which are glass eggs.
I give up my tongue.
I give up my mouth which is the contstant dream of my tongue.
I give up my throat which is the sleeve of my voice.
I give up my heart which is a burning apple.
I give up my lungs which are trees that have never seen the moon.
I give up my smell which is that of a stone traveling through rain.
I give up my hands which are ten wishes.
I give up my arms which have wanted to leave me anyway.
I give up my legs which are lovers only at night.
I give up my buttocks which are the moons of childhood.
I give up my penis which whispers encouragement to my thighs.
I give up my clothes which are walls that blow in the wind and I give up the ghost that lives in them.
I give up.
I give up.
And you will have none of it because already I am beginning again without anything.


by William Strode | |

On The Death Of Mistress Mary Prideaux

 Weep not because this childe hath dyed so yong,
But weepe because yourselves have livde so long:
Age is not fild by growth of time, for then
What old man lives to see th' estate of men?
Who sees the age of grande Methusalem?
Ten years make us as old as hundreds him.
Ripenesse is from ourselves: and then wee dye When nature hath obteynde maturity.
Summer and winter fruits there bee, and all Not at one time, but being ripe, must fall.
Death did not erre: your mourners are beguilde; She dyed more like a mother than a childe.
Weigh the composure of her pretty partes: Her gravity in childhood; all her artes Of womanly behaviour; weigh her tongue So wisely measurde, not too short nor long; And to her youth adde some few riches more, She tooke upp now what due was at threescore.
She livde seven years, our age's first degree; Journeys at first time ended happy bee; Yet take her stature with the age of man, They well are fitted: both are but a span.


by Robert William Service | |

Second Childhood

 When I go on my morning walk,
 Because I'm mild,
If I be in the mood to talk
 I choose a child.
I'd rather prattle with a lass Of tender age Than converse in the high-brow class With college sage.
I love the touch of silken hand That softly clings; In old of age I understand Life's little things.
I love the lisp of tiny tongue And trusting eyes; These are the joys that keep me young As daylight dies.
For as to second childhood I Draw gently near, With happy heart I see the why Children are dear.
So wise Professor, go your way,-- I am beguiled To wistful loving by the gay Laugh of a child.


by Robert William Service | |

Second Childhood

 Some deem I'm gentle, some I'm kind:
It may be so,--I cannot say.
I know I have a simple mind And see things in a simple way; And like a child I love to play.
I love to toy with pretty words And syllable them into rhyme; To make them sing like sunny birds In happy droves with silver chime, In dulcet groves in summer time.
I pray, with hair more white than grey, And second childhood coming on, That yet with wonderment I may See life as in its lucent dawn, And be by beauty so beguiled I'll sing as sings a child.


by Robert William Service | |

My Childhood God

 When I was small the Lord appeared
 Unto my mental eye
A gentle giant with a beard
 Who homed up in the sky.
But soon that vasty vision blurred, And faded in the end, Till God is just another word I cannot comprehend.
I envy those of simple faith Who bend the votive knee; Who do not doubt divinely death Will set their spirits free.
Oh could I be like you and you, Sweet souls who scan this line, And by dim altar worship too A Deity Divine! Alas! Mid passions that appal I ask with bitter woe Is God responsible for all Our horror here below? He made the hero and the saint, But did He also make The cannibal in battle paint, The shark and rattlesnake? If I believe in God I should Believe in Satan too; The one the source of all our good, The other of our rue .
.
.
Oh could I second childhood gain! For then it might be, I Once more would see that vision plain,-- Fond Father in the sky.


by Robert William Service | |

The Flower Shop

 Because I have no garden and
 No pence to buy,
Before the flower shop I stand
 And sigh.
The beauty of the Springtide spills In glowing posies Of voilets and daffodils And roses.
And as I see that joy of bloom, Sad sighing, I think of Mother in her room, Lone lying.
She babbles of the garden fair Her childhood knew, And how she gathered roses there In joyous dew.
I shiver in the street so grey, Yet still I stop; In gutter grime it seems so gay, This flower shop .
.
.
"Oh Mister, could you spare one rose?" (There now, I'm crying), "For Mother,--every blossom knows --Is dying.
"


by Rabindranath Tagore | |

Lovers Gifts XLVIII: I Travelled the Old Road

 I travelled the old road every day, I took my fruits to the market,
my cattle to the meadows, I ferried my boat across the stream and
all the ways were well known to me.
One morning my basket was heavy with wares.
Men were busy in the fields, the pastures crowded with cattle; the breast of earth heaved with the mirth of ripening rice.
Suddenly there was a tremor in the air, and the sky seemed to kiss me on my forehead.
My mind started up like the morning out of mist.
I forgot to follow the track.
I stepped a few paces from the path, and my familiar world appeared strange to me, like a flower I had only known in bud.
My everyday wisdom was ashamed.
I went astray in the fairyland of things.
It was the best luck of my life that I lost my path that morning, and found my eternal childhood.


by James Tate | |

The List of Famous Hats

 Napoleon's hat is an obvious choice I guess to list as a famous
hat, but that's not the hat I have in mind.
That was his hat for show.
I am thinking of his private bathing cap, which in all hon- esty wasn't much different than the one any jerk might buy at a corner drugstore now, except for two minor eccentricities.
The first one isn't even funny: Simply it was a white rubber bathing cap, but too small.
Napoleon led such a hectic life ever since his childhood, even farther back than that, that he never had a chance to buy a new bathing cap and still as a grown-up--well, he didn't really grow that much, but his head did: He was a pin- head at birth, and he used, until his death really, the same little tiny bathing cap that he was born in, and this meant that later it was very painful to him and gave him many headaches, as if he needed more.
So, he had to vaseline his skull like crazy to even get the thing on.
The second eccentricity was that it was a tricorn bathing cap.
Scholars like to make a lot out of this, and it would be easy to do.
My theory is simple-minded to be sure: that be- neath his public head there was another head and it was a pyra- mid or something.


by James Tate | |

The New Ergonomics

 The new ergonomics were delivered 
just before lunchtime 
so we ignored them.
Without revealing the particulars let me just say that lunch was most satisfying.
Jack and Roberta went with the corned beef for a change.
Jack believes in alien abduction and Roberta does not, although she has had several lost weekends lately and one or two unexplained scars on her buttocks.
I thought I recognized someone from my childhood at a table across the room, the same teeth, the same hair, but when he stood-up, I wasn't sure, Squid with a red tie? Impossible.
I finished my quiche lorraine and returned my thoughts to Jack's new jag: "Well, I guess anything's possible.
People disappear all the time, and most of them have no explanation when and if they return.
Look at Tony's daughter and she's never been the same.
" Jack was looking as if he'd bet on the right horse now.
"And these new ergonomics, who really designed them? Does anybody know? Do they tell us anything? A name, an address? Hell no.
" Squid was paying his bill in a standard-issue blue blazer.
He looked across the room at me several times.
He looked tired, like he wanted to sleep for a long time in a barn somewhere, in Kansas.
I wanted to sleep there, too.


by Edward Taylor | |

The New Ergonomics

 The new ergonomics were delivered 
just before lunchtime 
so we ignored them.
Without revealing the particulars let me just say that lunch was most satisfying.
Jack and Roberta went with the corned beef for a change.
Jack believes in alien abduction and Roberta does not, although she has had several lost weekends lately and one or two unexplained scars on her buttocks.
I thought I recognized someone from my childhood at a table across the room, the same teeth, the same hair, but when he stood-up, I wasn't sure, Squid with a red tie? Impossible.
I finished my quiche lorraine and returned my thoughts to Jack's new jag: "Well, I guess anything's possible.
People disappear all the time, and most of them have no explanation when and if they return.
Look at Tony's daughter and she's never been the same.
" Jack was looking as if he'd bet on the right horse now.
"And these new ergonomics, who really designed them? Does anybody know? Do they tell us anything? A name, an address? Hell no.
" Squid was paying his bill in a standard-issue blue blazer.
He looked across the room at me several times.
He looked tired, like he wanted to sleep for a long time in a barn somewhere, in Kansas.
I wanted to sleep there, too.