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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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Written 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.


Written by William Cullen Bryant | |

The Past

THOU unrelenting Past! 
Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain  
And fetters sure and fast  
Hold all that enter thy unbreathing reign.
Far in thy realm withdrawn 5 Old empires sit in sullenness and gloom And glorious ages gone Lie deep within the shadow of thy womb.
Childhood with all its mirth Youth Manhood Age that draws us to the ground 10 And last Man's Life on earth Glide to thy dim dominions and are bound.
Thou hast my better years; Thou hast my earlier friends the good the kind Yielded to thee with tears¡ª 15 The venerable form the exalted mind.
My spirit yearns to bring The lost ones back¡ªyearns with desire intense And struggles hard to wring Thy bolts apart and pluck thy captives thence.
20 In vain; thy gates deny All passage save to those who hence depart; Nor to the streaming eye Thou giv'st them back¡ªnor to the broken heart.
In thy abysses hide 25 Beauty and excellence unknown; to thee Earth's wonder and her pride Are gathered as the waters to the sea; Labors of good to man Unpublished charity unbroken faith 30 Love that midst grief began And grew with years and faltered not in death.
Full many a mighty name Lurks in thy depths unuttered unrevered; With thee are silent fame 35 Forgotten arts and wisdom disappeared.
Thine for a space are they¡ª Yet shalt thou yield thy treasures up at last: Thy gates shall yet give way Thy bolts shall fall inexorable Past! 40 All that of good and fair Has gone into thy womb from earliest time Shall then come forth to wear The glory and the beauty of its prime.
They have not perished¡ªno! 45 Kind words remembered voices once so sweet Smiles radiant long ago And features the great soul's apparent seat.
All shall come back; each tie Of pure affection shall be knit again; 50 Alone shall Evil die And Sorrow dwell a prisoner in thy reign.
And then shall I behold Him by whose kind paternal side I sprung And her who still and cold 55 Fills the next grave¡ªthe beautiful and young.


Written by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

The Pipes At Lucknow

 Pipes of the misty moorlands,
Voice of the glens and hills;
The droning of the torrents,
The treble of the rills!
Not the braes of bloom and heather,
Nor the mountains dark with rain,
Nor maiden bower, nor border tower,
Have heard your sweetest strain!

Dear to the Lowland reaper,
And plaided mountaineer, -
To the cottage and the castle
The Scottish pipes are dear; -
Sweet sounds the ancient pibroch
O'er mountain, loch, and glade;
But the sweetest of all music
The pipes at Lucknow played.
Day by day the Indian tiger Louder yelled, and nearer crept; Round and round the jungle-serpent Near and nearer circles swept.
'Pray for rescue, wives and mothers, - Pray to-day!' the soldier said; 'To-morrow, death's between us And the wrong and shame we dread.
' Oh, they listened, looked, and waited, Till their hope became despair; And the sobs of low bewailing Filled the pauses of their prayer.
Then up spake a Scottish maiden.
With her ear unto the ground: 'Dinna ye hear it? - dinna ye hear it? The pipes o' Havelock sound!' Hushed the wounded man his groaning; Hushed the wife her little ones; Alone they heard the drum-roll And the roar of Sepoy guns.
But to sounds of home and childhood The Highland ear was true; - As her mother's cradle-crooning The mountain pipes she knew.
Like the march of soundless music Through the vision of the seer, More of feeling than of hearing, Of the heart than of the ear, She knew the droning pibroch, She knew the Campbell's call: 'Hark! hear ye no MacGregor's, The grandest o' them all!' Oh, they listened, dumb and breathless, And they caught the sound at last; Faint and far beyond the Goomtee Rose and fell the piper's blast! Then a burst of wild thanksgiving Mingled woman's voice and man's; 'God be praised! - the march of Havelock! The piping of the clans!' Louder, nearer, fierce as vengeance, Sharp and shrill as swords at strife, Came the wild MacGregor's clan-call, Stinging all the air to life.
But when the far-off dust-cloud To plaided legions grew, Full tenderly and blithesomely The pipes of rescue blew! Round the silver domes of Lucknow.
Moslem mosque and Pagan shrine, Breathed the air to Britons dearest, The air of Auld Lang Syne.
O'er the cruel roll of war-drums Rose that sweet and homelike strain; And the tartan clove the turban, As the Goomtee cleaves the plain.
Dear to the corn-land reaper And plaided mountaineer, - To the cottage and the castle The piper's song is dear.
Sweet sounds the Gaelic pibroch O'er mountain, glen, and glade; But the sweetest of all music The pipes at Lucknow played!


More great poems below...

Written 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.


Written 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.


Written 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.


Written by W S Merwin | |

Green Fields

 By this part of the century few are left who believe
 in the animals for they are not there in the carved parts
of them served on plates and the pleas from the slatted trucks
 are sounds of shadows that possess no future
there is still game for the pleasure of killing
 and there are pets for the children but the lives that followed
courses of their own other than ours and older
 have been migrating before us some are already
far on the way and yet Peter with his gaunt cheeks
 and point of white beard the face of an aged Lawrence
Peter who had lived on from another time and country
 and who had seen so many things set out and vanish
still believed in heaven and said he had never once
 doubted it since his childhood on the farm in the days
of the horses he had not doubted it in the worst
 times of the Great War and afterward and he had come
to what he took to be a kind of earthly
 model of it as he wandered south in his sixties
by that time speaking the language well enough
 for them to make him out he took the smallest roads
into a world he thought was a thing of the past
 with wildflowers he scarcely remembered and neighbors
working together scything the morning meadows
 turning the hay before the noon meal bringing it in
by milking time husbandry and abundance
 all the virtues he admired and their reward bounteous
in the eyes of a foreigner and there he remained
 for the rest of his days seeing what he wanted to see
until the winter when he could no longer fork
 the earth in his garden and then he gave away
his house land everything and committed himself
 to a home to die in an old chateau where he lingered
for some time surrounded by those who had lost
 the use of body or mind and as he lay there he told me
that the wall by his bed opened almost every day
 and he saw what was really there and it was eternal life
as he recognized at once when he saw the gardens
 he had made and the green fields where he had been
a child and his mother was standing there then the wall would close
 and around him again were the last days of the world


Written 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);


Written 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!”


Written 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


Written 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.


Written 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.


Written 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.


Written by Constantine P Cavafy | |

The City

 WHAT domination of what darkness dies this hour,
And through what new, rejoicing, winged, ethereal power
O’erthrown, the cells opened, the heart released from fear?
Gay twilight and grave twilight pass.
The stars appear O’er the prodigious, smouldering, dusky, city flare.
The hanging gardens of Babylon were not more fair Than these blue flickering glades, where childhood in its glee Re-echoes with fresh voice the heaven-lit ecstasy.
Yon girl whirls like an eastern dervish.
Her dance is No less a god-intoxicated dance than his, Though all unknowing the arcane fire that lights her feet, What motions of what starry tribes her limbs repeat.
I, too, firesmitten, cannot linger: I know there lies Open somewhere this hour a gate to Paradise, Its blazing battlements with watchers thronged, O where? I know not, but my flame-winged feet shall lead me there.
O, hurry, hurry, unknown shepherd of desires, And with thy flock of bright imperishable fires Pen me within the starry fold, ere the night falls And I am left alone below immutable walls.
Or am I there already, and is it Paradise To look on mortal things with an immortal’s eyes? Above the misty brilliance the streets assume A night-dilated blue magnificence of gloom Like many-templed Nineveh tower beyond tower; And I am hurried on in this immortal hour.
Mine eyes beget new majesties: my spirit greets The trams, the high-built glittering galleons of the streets That float through twilight rivers from galaxies of light.
Nay, in the Fount of Days they rise, they take their flight, And wend to the great deep, the Holy Sepulchre.
Those dark misshapen folk to be made lovely there Hurry with me, not all ignoble as we seem, Lured by some inexpressible and gorgeous dream.
The earth melts in my blood.
The air that I inhale Is like enchanted wine poured from the Holy Grail.
What was that glimmer then? Was it the flash of wings As through the blinded mart rode on the King of Kings? O stay, departing glory, stay with us but a day, And burning seraphim shall leap from out our clay, And plumed and crested hosts shall shine where men have been, Heaven hold no lordlier court than earth at College Green.
Ah, no, the wizardy is over; the magic flame That might have melted all in beauty fades as it came.
The stars are far and faint and strange.
The night draws down.
Exiled from light, forlorn, I walk in Dublin Town.
Yet had I might to lift the veil, the will to dare, The fiery rushing chariots of the Lord are there, The whirlwind path, the blazing gates, the trumpets blown, The halls of heaven, the majesty of throne by throne, Enraptured faces, hands uplifted, welcome sung By the thronged gods, tall, golden-coloured, joyful, young.


Written by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

The Poor Relation

 No longer torn by what she knows 
And sees within the eyes of others, 
Her doubts are when the daylight goes, 
Her fears are for the few she bothers.
She tells them it is wholly wrong Of her to stay alive so long; And when she smiles her forehead shows A crinkle that had been her mother’s.
Beneath her beauty, blanched with pain, And wistful yet for being cheated, A child would seem to ask again A question many times repeated; But no rebellion has betrayed Her wonder at what she has paid For memories that have no stain, For triumph born to be defeated.
To those who come for what she was— The few left who know where to find her— She clings, for they are all she has; And she may smile when they remind her, As heretofore, of what they know Of roses that are still to blow By ways where not so much as grass Remains of what she sees behind her.
They stay a while, and having done What penance or the past requires, They go, and leave her there alone To count her chimneys and her spires.
Her lip shakes when they go away, And yet she would not have them stay; She knows as well as anyone That Pity, having played, soon tires.
But one friend always reappears, A good ghost, not to be forsaken; Whereat she laughs and has no fears Of what a ghost may reawaken, But welcomes, while she wears and mends The poor relation’s odds and ends, Her truant from a tomb of years— Her power of youth so early taken.
Poor laugh, more slender than her song It seems; and there are none to hear it With even the stopped ears of the strong For breaking heart or broken spirit.
The friends who clamored for her place, And would have scratched her for her face, Have lost her laughter for so long That none would care enough to fear it.
None live who need fear anything From her, whose losses are their pleasure; The plover with a wounded wing Stays not the flight that others measure; So there she waits, and while she lives, And death forgets, and faith forgives, Her memories go foraging For bits of childhood song they treasure.
And like a giant harp that hums On always, and is always blending The coming of what never comes With what has past and had an ending, The City trembles, throbs, and pounds Outside, and through a thousand sounds The small intolerable drums Of Time are like slow drops descending.
Bereft enough to shame a sage And given little to long sighing, With no illusion to assuage The lonely changelessness of dying,— Unsought, unthought-of, and unheard, She sings and watches like a bird, Safe in a comfortable cage From which there will be no more flying.