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Best Famous Dark Poems

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

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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 Alfred Lord Tennyson | |

Tears Idle Tears

  Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.
Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail, That brings our friends up from the underworld, Sad as the last which reddens over one That sinks with all we love below the verge; So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds To dying ears, when unto dying eyes The casement slowly grows a glimmering square; So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.
Dear as remembered kisses after death, And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned On lips that are for others; deep as love, Deep as first love, and wild with all regret; O Death in Life, the days that are no more!


by Alfred Lord Tennyson | |

Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star, 
And one clear call for me! 
And may there be no moaning of the bar, 
When I put out to sea, 

But such a tide as moving seems asleep, 
Too full for sound and foam, 
When that which drew from out the boundless deep 
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark; For though from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crossed the bar.


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Concord Hymn

By the rude bridge that arched the flood, 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 
Here once the embattled farmers stood, 
And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept; Alike the conqueror silent sleeps; And Time the ruined bridge has swept Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream, We set to-day a votive stone; That memory may their deed redeem, When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare To die, and leave their children free, Bid Time and Nature gently spare The shaft we raise to them and thee.


by Conrad Aiken | |

Chance Meetings

In the mazes of loitering people, the watchful and furtive, 
The shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves, 
In the drowse of the sunlight, among the low voices, 
I suddenly face you, 
  
Your dark eyes return for a space from her who is with you, 
They shine into mine with a sunlit desire, 
They say an 'I love you, what star do you live on?' 
They smile and then darken, 
  
And silent, I answer 'You too--I have known you,--I love you!--' 
And the shadows of tree-trunks and shadows of leaves 
Interlace with low voices and footsteps and sunlight 
To divide us forever.


by Philip Larkin | |

MCMXIV

Those long uneven lines
Standing as patiently
As if they were stretched outside
The Oval or Villa Park 
The crowns of hats the sun
On moustached archaic faces
Grinning as if it were all
An August bank Holiday lark;

And the shut shops the bleached 
Established names on the sunblinds 
The farthings and sovereigns 
Adn dark-clothed children at play
Called after kings and queens 
The tin advertisements
For cocoa and twist and the pubs
Wide open all day;

And the countryside ont caring:
The place-names all hazed over
With flowering grasses and fields
Shadowing Domesday lines
Under wheat's restless silence;
The differently-dressed servants
With tiny rooms in huge houses 
The dust behind limousines;

Never such innocence 
Never before or since 
As changed itself to past
Without a word--the men
Leaving the gardens tidy 
The thousands of marriages
Lasting a littlewhile longer:
Never such innocence again.
1964


by Edward Estlin (E E) Cummings | |

once like a spark

(once like a spark)

if strangers meet
life begins-
not poor not rich
(only aware)
kind neither
nor cruel
(only complete)
i not not you
not possible;
only truthful
-truthfully once
if strangers(who
deep our most are
selves)touch:
forever

(and so to dark)


by Sylvia Plath | |

Event

How the elements solidify! ---
The moonlight, that chalk cliff
In whose rift we lie

Back to back.
I here an owl cry From its cold indigo.
Intolerable vowels enter my heart.
The child in the white crib revolves and sighs, Opens its mouth now, demanding.
His little face is carved in pained, red wood.
Then there are the stars - ineradicable, hard.
One touch : it burns and sickens.
I cannot see your eyes.
Where apple bloom ices the night I walk in a ring, A groove of old faults, deep and bitter.
Love cannot come here.
A black gap discloses itself.
On the opposite lip A small white soul is waving, a small white maggot.
My limbs, also, have left me.
Who has dismembered us? The dark is melting.
We touch like cripples.


by Sylvia Plath | |

Crossing the Water

Black lake, black boat, two black, cut-paper people.
Where do the black trees go that drink here? Their shadows must cover Canada.
A little light is filtering from the water flowers.
Their leaves do not wish us to hurry: They are round and flat and full of dark advice.
Cold worlds shake from the oar.
The spirit of blackness is in us, it is in the fishes.
A snag is lifting a valedictory, pale hand; Stars open among the lilies.
Are you not blinded by such expressionless sirens? This is the silence of astounded souls.


by Emily Dickinson | |

I found the phrase to every thought

I found the phrase to every thought
I ever had, but one;
And that defies me,--as a hand
Did try to chalk the sun

To races nurtured in the dark;--
How would your own begin?
Can blaze be done in cochineal,
Or noon in mazarin?


by Frank O'Hara | |

The Lover

He waits and it is not without
a great deal of trouble that he tickles
a nightingale with his guitar.
He would like to cry Andiamo! but alas! no one has arrived yet although the dew is perfect for adieux.
How bitterly he beats his hairy chest! because he is a man sitting out an indignity.
The mean moon is like a nasty little lemon above the ubiquitous snivelling fir trees and if there's a swan within a radius of twelve square miles let's throttle it.
We too are worried.
He is a man like us erect in the cold dark night.
Silence handles his guitar as clumsily as a wet pair of dungarees.
The grass if full of snakespit.
He alone is hot admist the stars.
If no one is racing towards him down intriguingly hung stairways towards the firm lamp of his thighs we are indeed in trouble sprawling feet upwards to the sun our faces growing smaller in the colossal dark.


by Sylvia Plath | |

Ariel

Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue Pour of tor and distances.
God's lioness, How one we grow, Pivot of heels and knees! ---The furrow Splits and passes, sister to The brown arc Of the neck I cannot catch, Nigger-eye Berries cast dark Hooks --- Black sweet blood mouthfuls, Shadows.
Something else Hauls me through air --- Thighs, hair; Flakes from my heels.
White Godiva, I unpeel --- Dead hands, dead stringencies.
And now I Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
The child's cry Melts in the wall.
And I Am the arrow, The dew that flies, Suicidal, at one with the drive Into the red Eye, the cauldron of morning.


by Emily Dickinson | |

Good night! which put the candle out?

Good night! which put the candle out?
A jealous zephyr, not a doubt.
Ah! friend, you little knew How long at that celestial wick The angels labored diligent; Extinguished, now, for you! It might have been the lighthouse spark Some sailor, rowing in the dark, Had importuned to see! It might have been the waning lamp That lit the drummer from the camp To purer reveille!


by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | |

Sonnets from the Portuguese ii

UNLIKE are we unlike O princely Heart! 
Unlike our uses and our destinies.
Our ministering two angels look surprise On one another as they strike athwart Their wings in passing.
Thou bethink thee art 5 A guest for queens to social pageantries With gages from a hundred brighter eyes Than tears even can make mine to play thy part Of chief musician.
What hast thou to do With looking from the lattice-lights at me¡ª 10 A poor tired wandering singer singing through The dark and leaning up a cypress tree? The chrism is on thine head¡ªon mine the dew¡ª And Death must dig the level where these agree.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

Lines to an Indian Air

I ARISE from dreams of thee 
In the first sweet sleep of night, 
When the winds are breathing low 
And the stars are shining bright¡ª 
I arise from dreams of thee, 5 
And a spirit in my feet 
Hath led me¡ªwho knows how? 
To thy chamber-window, Sweet! 

The wandering airs they faint 
On the dark, the silent stream; 10 
The champak odours fail 
Like sweet thoughts in a dream; 
The nightingale's complaint 
It dies upon her heart, 
As I must die on thine, 15 
O belov¨¨d, as thou art! 

O lift me from the grass! 
I die, I faint, I fail! 
Let thy love in kisses rain 
On my lips and eyelids pale.
20 My cheek is cold and white, alas! My heart beats loud and fast; O press it close to thine again Where it will break at last!


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

The Indian Serenade

I ARISE from dreams of thee 
In the first sweet sleep of night, 
When the winds are breathing low, 
And the stars are shining bright.
I arise from dreams of thee, 5 And a spirit in my feet Hath led me¡ªwho knows how? To thy chamber window, Sweet! The wandering airs they faint On the dark, the silent stream¡ª 10 And the champak's odours [pine] Like sweet thoughts in a dream; The nightingale's complaint, It dies upon her heart, As I must on thine, 15 O belov¨¨d as thou art! O lift me from the grass! I die! I faint! I fail! Let thy love in kisses rain On my lips and eyelids pale.
20 My cheek is cold and white, alas! My heart beats loud and fast: O press it to thine own again, Where it will break at last!


by Philip Larkin | |

Talking in Bed

Talking in bed ought ot be easiest 
Lying together there goes back so far 
An emblem of two people being honest.
Yet more and more time passes silently.
Outside the wind's incomplete unrest builds and disperses clouds about the sky.
And dark towns heap up on the horizon.
None of this cares for us.
Nothing shows why At this unique distance from isolation It becomes still more difficult to find Words at once true and kind Or ont untrue and not unkind.
1964


by Philip Larkin | |

Wants

 Beyond all this, the wish to be alone:
However the sky grows dark with invitation-cards
However we follow the printed directions of sex
However the family is photographed under the flag-staff -
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone.
Beneath it all, the desire for oblivion runs: Despite the artful tensions of the calendar, The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites, The costly aversion of the eyes away from death - Beneath it all, the desire for oblivion runs.


by Philip Larkin | |

High Windows

 When I see a couple of kids
And guess he's fucking her and she's
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,
I know this is paradise

Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives--
Bonds and gestures pushed to one side
Like an outdated combine harvester,
And everyone young going down the long slide

To happiness, endlessly.
I wonder if Anyone looked at me, forty years back, And thought, That'll be the life; No God any more, or sweating in the dark About hell and that, or having to hide What you think of the priest.
He And his lot will all go down the long slide Like free bloody birds.
And immediately Rather than words comes the thought of high windows: The sun-comprehending glass, And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.


by Philip Larkin | |

A Study Of Reading Habits

 When getting my nose in a book
Cured most things short of school,
It was worth ruining my eyes
To know I could still keep cool,
And deal out the old right hook
To dirty dogs twice my size.
Later, with inch-thick specs, Evil was just my lark: Me and my coat and fangs Had ripping times in the dark.
The women I clubbed with sex! I broke them up like meringues.
Don't read much now: the dude Who lets the girl down before The hero arrives, the chap Who's yellow and keeps the store Seem far too familiar.
Get stewed: Books are a load of crap.