Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best Famous Courage Poems

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

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

See also: Best Member Poems

Go Back

by Maya Angelou | |

Touched by An Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies old memories of pleasure ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity In the flush of love's light we dare be brave And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be.
Yet it is only love which sets us free.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Trojans

 Our efforts are those of the unfortunate;
our efforts are like those of the Trojans.
Somewhat we succeed; somewhat we regain confidence; and we start to have courage and high hopes.
But something always happens and stops us.
Achilles in the trench before us emerges and with loud cries terrifies us.
-- Our efforts are like those of the Trojans.
We believe that with resolution and daring we will alter the blows of destiny, and we stand outside to do battle.
But when the great crisis comes, our daring and our resolution vanish; our soul is agitated, paralyzed; and we run around the walls seeking to save ourselves in flight.
Nevertheless, our fall is certain.
Above, on the walls, the mourning has already begun.
The memories and the sentiments of our days weep.
Bitterly Priam and Hecuba weep for us.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

The God Abandons Antony

 When suddenly, at midnight, you hear
an invisible procession going by
with exquisite music, voices,
don't mourn your luck that's failing now,
work gone wrong, your plans
all proving deceptive -- don't mourn them uselessly.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage, say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving.
Above all, don't fool yourself, don't say it was a dream, your ears deceived you: don't degrade yourself with empty hopes like these.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage, as is right for you who were given this kind of city, go firmly to the window And listen with deep emotion, but not with whining, the pleas of a coward; listen -- your final delectation -- to the voices, to the exquisite music of that strange procession, and say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing.


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

Calvary

 Friendless and faint, with martyred steps and slow, 
Faint for the flesh, but for the spirit free, 
Stung by the mob that came to see the show, 
The Master toiled along to Calvary; 
We gibed him, as he went, with houndish glee, 
Till his dimmed eyes for us did overflow; 
We cursed his vengeless hands thrice wretchedly, -- 
And this was nineteen hundred years ago.
But after nineteen hundred years the shame Still clings, and we have not made good the loss That outraged faith has entered in his name.
Ah, when shall come love's courage to be strong! Tell me, O Lord -- tell me, O Lord, how long Are we to keep Christ writhing on the cross!


by Ella Wheeler Wilcox | |

Morning Prayer

 Let me to-day do something that shall take
A little sadness from the world’s vast store, 
And may I be so favoured as to make
Of joy’s too scanty sum a little more.
Let me not hurt, by any selfish deed Or thoughtless word, the heart of foe or friend; Nor would I pass, unseeing, worthy need, Or sin by silence when I should defend.
However meagre be my worldly wealth, Let me give something that shall aid my kind – A word of courage, or a thought of health, Dropped as I pass for troubled hearts to find.
Let me to-night look back across the span ‘Twixt dawn and dark, and to my conscience say – Because of some good act to beast or man – “The world is better that I lived today.


by Henry Van Dyke | |

Jesus Thou Divine Companion

 Jesus, Thou divine Companion,
By Thy lowly human birth
Thou hast come to join the workers,
Burden bearers of the earth.
Thou, the Carpenter of Nazareth, Toiling for Thy daily food, By Thy patience and Thy courage, Thou hast taught us toil is good.
They who tread the path of labor Follow where Thy feet have trod; They who work without complaining Do the holy will of God.
Thou, the Peace that passeth knowledge, Dwellest in the daily strife; Thou, the Bread of heaven, broken In the sacrament of life.
Every task, however simple, Sets the soul that does it free; Every deed of love and kindness Done to man is done to Thee.
Jesus, Thou divine Companion, Help us all to do our best; Bless in our daily labor, Lead us to the Sabbath rest.


by Henry Van Dyke | |

Life

 Let me but live my life from year to year, 
With forward face and unreluctant soul; 
Not hurrying to, nor turning from the goal; 
Not mourning for the things that disappear 
In the dim past, nor holding back in fear 
From what the future veils; but with a whole 
And happy heart, that pays its toll 
To Youth and Age, and travels on with cheer.
So let the way wind up the hill or down, O'er rough or smooth, the journey will be joy: Still seeking what I sought when but a boy, New friendship, high adventure, and a crown, My heart will keep the courage of the quest, And hope the road's last turn will be the best.


by Henry Van Dyke | |

Jeanne dArc

 The land was broken in despair,
The princes quarrelled in the dark,
When clear and tranquil, through the troubled air
Of selfish minds and wills that did not dare,
Your star arose, Jeanne d'Arc.
O virgin breast with lilies white, O sun-burned hand that bore the lance, You taught the prayer that helps men to unite, You brought the courage equal to the fight, You gave a heart to France! Your king was crowned, your country free, At Rheims you had your soul's desire: And then, at Rouen, maid of Domremy, The black-robed judges gave your victory The martyr's crown of fire.
And now again the times are ill, And doubtful leaders miss the mark; The people lack the single faith and will To make them one, -- your country needs you still, -- Come back again, Jeanne d'Arc! O woman-star, arise once more And shine to bid your land advance: The old heroic trust in God restore, Renew the brave, unselfish hopes of yore, And give a heart to France!


by Henry Van Dyke | |

Jeanne dArc Returns

 1914-1916 

What hast thou done, O womanhood of France,
Mother and daughter, sister, sweetheart, wife,
What hast thou done, amid this fateful strife,
To prove the pride of thine inheritance
In this fair land of freedom and romance?
I hear thy voice with tears and courage rife,--
Smiling against the swords that seek thy life,--
Make answer in a noble utterance:
"I give France all I have, and all she asks.
Would it were more! Ah, let her ask and take: My hands to nurse her wounded, do her tasks,-- My feet to run her errands through the dark,-- My heart to bleed in triumph for her sake,-- And all my soul to follow thee, Jeanne d'Arc!"


by Henry Van Dyke | |

Edmund Clarence Stedman

 Oh, quick to feel the lightest touch 
Of beauty or of truth,
Rich in the thoughtfulness of age,
The hopefulness of youth,
The courage of the gentle heart,
The wisdom of the pure,
The strength of finely tempered souls
To labour and endure! 

The blue of springtime in your eyes
Was never quenched by pain;
And winter brought your head the crown
Of snow without a stain.
The poet's mind, the prince's heart, You kept until the end, Nor ever faltered in your work, Nor ever failed a friend.


by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

A Day Off

 Let us put awhile away 
All the cares of work-a-day, 
For a golden time forget, 
Task and worry, toil and fret, 
Let us take a day to dream 
In the meadow by the stream.
We may lie in grasses cool Fringing a pellucid pool, We may learn the gay brook-runes Sung on amber afternoons, And the keen wind-rhyme that fills Mossy hollows of the hills.
Where the wild-wood whisper stirs We may talk with lisping firs, We may gather honeyed blooms In the dappled forest glooms, We may eat of berries red O'er the emerald upland spread.
We may linger as we will In the sunset valleys still, Till the gypsy shadows creep From the starlit land of sleep, And the mist of evening gray Girdles round our pilgrim way.
We may bring to work again Courage from the tasselled glen, Bring a strength unfailing won From the paths of cloud and sun, And the wholesome zest that springs From all happy, growing things.


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

HUMAN FEELINGS.

 AH, ye gods! ye great immortals
In the spacious heavens above us!
Would ye on this earth but give us
Steadfast minds and dauntless courage
We, oh kindly ones, would leave you
All your spacious heavens above us!

 1815.
*


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

IN A WORD.

 THUS to be chain'd for ever, can I bear?

A very torment that, in truth, would be.
This very day my new resolve shall see.
-- I'll not go near the lately-worshipp'd Fair.
Yet what excuse, my heart, can I prepare In such a case, for not consulting thee? But courage! while our sorrows utter we In tones where love, grief, gladness have a share.
But see! the minstrel's bidding to obey, Its melody pours forth the sounding lyre, Yearning a sacrifice of love to bring.
Scarce wouldst thou think it--ready is the lay; Well, but what then? Methought in the first fire We to her presence flew, that lay to sing.
1807?8.


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

THE SAME EXPANDED.

 IF thou wouldst live unruffled by care,
Let not the past torment thee e'er;
If any loss thou hast to rue,
Act as though thou wert born anew;
Inquire the meaning of each day,
What each day means itself will say;
In thine own actions take thy pleasure,
What others do, thou'lt duly treasure;
Ne'er let thy breast with hate be supplied,
And to God the future confide.
----- IF wealth is gone--then something is gone! Quick, make up thy mind, And fresh wealth find.
If honour is gone--then much is gone! Seek glory to find, And people then will alter their mind.
If courage is gone--then all is gone! 'Twere better that thou hadst never been born.
----- HE who with life makes sport, Can prosper never; Who rules himself in nought, Is a slave ever.
MAY each honest effort be Crown'd with lasting constancy.
----- EACH road to the proper end Runs straight on, without a bend.
1825.


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

THE GARLANDS.

 KLOPSTOCK would lead us away from Pindus; no longer 
for laurel
May we be eager--the homely acorn alone must content us;
Yet he himself his more-than-epic crusade is conducting
High on Golgotha's summit, that foreign gods he may honour!
Yet, on what hill he prefers, let him gather the angels together,
Suffer deserted disciples to weep o'er the grave of the just one:
There where a hero and saint hath died, where a bard breath'd his 
numbers,
Both for our life and our death an ensample of courage resplendent
And of the loftiest human worth to bequeath,--ev'ry nation
There will joyously kneel in devotion ecstatic, revering
Thorn and laurel garland, and all its charms and its tortures.
1815.
*


by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |

NEW LOVE NEW LIFE.

 [Written at the time of Goethe's connection 
with Lily.
] HEART! my heart! what means this feeling? What oppresseth thee so sore? What strange life is o'er me stealing! I acknowledge thee no more.
Fled is all that gave thee gladness, Fled the cause of all thy sadness, Fled thy peace, thine industry-- Ah, why suffer it to be? Say, do beauty's graces youthful, Does this form so fair and bright, Does this gaze, so kind, so truthful, Chain thee with unceasing might? Would I tear me from her boldly, Courage take, and fly her coldly, Back to her.
I'm forthwith led By the path I seek to tread.
By a thread I ne'er can sever, For 'tis 'twined with magic skill, Doth the cruel maid for ever Hold me fast against my will.
While those magic chains confine me, To her will I must resign me.
Ah, the change in truth is great! Love! kind love! release me straight! 1775.


by Walter de la Mare | |

How Sleep the Brave

 Nay, nay, sweet England, do not grieve! 
Not one of these poor men who died 
But did within his soul believe 
That death for thee was glorified.
Ever they watched it hovering near That mystery 'yond thought to plumb, Perchance sometimes in loathèd fear They heard cold Danger whisper, Come! -- Heard and obeyed.
O, if thou weep Such courage and honour, beauty, care, Be it for joy that those who sleep Only thy joy could share.


by A E Housman | |

Loitering with a Vacant Eye

 Loitering with a vacant eye 
Along the Grecian gallery, 
And brooding on my heavy ill, 
I met a statue standing still.
Still in marble stone stood he, And stedfastly he looked at me.
"Well met," I thought the look would say, "We both were fashioned far away; We neither knew, when we were young, These Londoners we live among.
" Still he stood and eyed me hard, An earnest and a grave regard: "What, lad, drooping with your lot? I too would be where I am not.
I too survey that endless line Of men whose thoughts are not as mine.
Years, ere you stood up from rest, On my neck the collar prest; Years, when you lay down your ill, I shall stand and bear it still.
Courage, lad, 'tis not for long: Stand, quit you like stone, be strong.
" So I thought his look would say; And light on me my trouble lay, And I stept out in flesh and bone Manful like the man of stone.


by C S Lewis | |

Prelude to Space

 An Epithaliamium

So Man, grown vigorous now,
Holds himself ripe to breed,
Daily devises how
To ejaculate his seed
And boldly fertilize
The black womb of the unconsenting skies.
Some now alive expect (I am told) to see the large, Steel member grow erect, Turgid with the fierce charge Of our whole planet's skill, Courage, wealth, knowledge, concentrated will, Straining with lust to stamp Our likeness on the abyss- Bombs, gallows, Belsen camp, Pox, polio, Thais' kiss Or Judas, Moloch's fires And Torquemada's (sons resemble sires).
Shall we, when the grim shape Roars upward, dance and sing? Yes: if we honour rape, If we take pride to Ring So bountifully on space The sperm of our long woes, our large disgrace.


by Sir Henry Newbolt | |

Ionicus

 With failing feet and shoulders bowed 
Beneath the weight of happier days, 
He lagged among the heedless crowd, 
Or crept along suburban ways.
But still through all his heart was young, A courage, a pride, a rapture, sprung Of the strength and splendour of England's war.
From ill-requited toil he turned To ride with Picton and with Pack, Among his grammars inly burned To storm the Afghan mountain-track.
When midnight chimed, before Quebec He watched with Wolfe till he morning star; At noon he saw from Victory's deck The sweep and splendour of England's war.
Beyond the book his teaching sped, He left on whom he taught the trace Of kinship with the deathless dead, And faith in all the Island race.
He passed : his life a tangle seemed, His age from fame and power was far; But his heart was night to the end, and dreamed Of the sound and splendour of England's war.