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Best Famous Grief Poems

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

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by Sir Walter Raleigh | |

A Vision upon the Fairy Queen

Methought I saw the grave where Laura lay,
   Within that temple where the vestal flame
   Was wont to burn; and, passing by that way,
   To see that buried dust of living fame,
Whose tomb fair Love, and fairer Virtue kept:
   All suddenly I saw the Fairy Queen;
   At whose approach the soul of Petrarch wept,
   And, from thenceforth, those Graces were not seen:
For they this queen attended; in whose stead
   Oblivion laid him down on Laura's hearse:
   Hereat the hardest stones were seen to bleed,
And groans of buried ghosts the heavens did pierce:
   Where Homer's spright did tremble all for grief,
   And cursed the access of that celestial thief!


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Doc Hill

I went up and down the streets
Here and there by day and night,
Through all hours of the night caring for the poor who were sick.
Do you know why? My wife hated me, my son went to the dogs.
And I turned to the people and poured out my love to them.
Sweet it was to see the crowds about the lawns on the day of my funeral, And hear them murmur their love and sorrow.
But oh, dear God, my soul trembled, scarcely able To hold to the railing of the new life When I saw Em Stanton behind the oak tree At the grave, Hiding herself, and her grief!


by Elizabeth Barrett Browning | |

Grief

I TELL you hopeless grief is passionless; 
That only men incredulous of despair  
Half-taught in anguish through the midnight air 
Beat upward to God's throne in loud access 
Of shrieking and reproach.
Full desertness 5 In souls as countries lieth silent-bare Under the blanching vertical eye-glare Of the absolute Heavens.
Deep-hearted man express Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death¡ª Most like a monumental statue set 10 In everlasting watch and moveless woe Till itself crumble to the dust beneath.
Touch it; the marble eyelids are not wet: If it could weep it could arise and go.


by Percy Bysshe Shelley | |

A Lament

O WORLD! O Life! O Time! 
On whose last steps I climb  
Trembling at that where I had stood before; 
When will return the glory of your prime? 
No more¡ªoh never more! 5 

Out of the day and night 
A joy has taken flight: 
Fresh spring and summer and winter hoar 
Move my faint heart with grief but with delight 
No more¡ªoh never more! 10 


by Ralph Waldo Emerson | |

Borrowing

From the French


SOME of the hurts you have cured  
And the sharpest you still have survived  
But what torments of grief you endured 
From evils which never arrived! 


by Alfred Lord Tennyson | |

O that twere possible

O THAT 'twere possible 
After long grief and pain 
To find the arms of my true love 
Round me once again!.
.
.
A shadow flits before me 5 Not thou but like to thee: Ah Christ! that it were possible For one short hour to see The souls we loved that they might tell us What and where they be! 10


by Philip Larkin | |

The Trees

 The trees are coming into leaf 
Like something almost being said; 
The recent buds relax and spread, 
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again And we grow old? No, they die too, Their yearly trick of looking new Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say, Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.


by Philip Larkin | |

For Sidney Bechet

 That note you hold, narrowing and rising, shakes
Like New Orleans reflected on the water,
And in all ears appropriate falsehood wakes,

Building for some a legendary Quarter
Of balconies, flower-baskets and quadrilles,
Everyone making love and going shares--

Oh, play that thing! Mute glorious Storyvilles
Others may license, grouping around their chairs
Sporting-house girls like circus tigers (priced

Far above rubies) to pretend their fads,
While scholars manqués nod around unnoticed
Wrapped up in personnels like old plaids.
On me your voice falls as they say love should, Like an enormous yes.
My Crescent City Is where your speech alone is understood, And greeted as the natural noise of good, Scattering long-haired grief and scored pity.


by Christina Rossetti | |

A Better Ressurection

 I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numbed too much for hopes or fears.
Look right, look left, I dwell alone; I lift mine eyes, but dimmed with grief No everlasting hills I see; My life is in the falling leaf: O Jesus, quicken me.
My life is like a faded leaf, My harvest dwindled to a husk: Truly my life is void and brief And tedious in the barren dusk; My life is like a frozen thing, No bud nor greenness can I see: Yet rise it shall--the sap of spring; O Jesus, rise in me.
My life is like a broken bowl, A broken bowl that cannot hold One drop of water for my soul Or cordial in the searching cold; Cast in the fire the perished thing; Melt and remould it, till it be A royal cup for Him, my King: O Jesus, drink of me.


by Christina Rossetti | |

Fluttered Wings

 The splendour of the kindling day, 
The splendor of the setting sun, 
These move my soul to wend its way, 
And have done 
With all we grasp and toil amongst and say.
The paling roses of a cloud, The fading bow that arches space, These woo my fancy toward my shroud, Toward the place Of faces veil’d, and heads discrown’d and bow’d.
The nation of the awful stars, The wandering star whose blaze is brief, These make me beat against the bars Of my grief; My tedious grief, twin to the life it mars.
O fretted heart toss’d to and fro, So fain to flee, so fain to rest! All glories that are high or low, East or west, Grow dim to thee who art so fain to go.


by Christina Rossetti | |

Beneath Thy Cross

 Am I a stone, and not a sheep, 
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath thy cross, 
To number drop by drop Thy Blood's slow loss, 
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved 
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee; 
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly; 
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon 
Which hid their faces in a starless sky, 
A horror of great darkness at broad noon-- 
I, only I.
Yet give not o'er, But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock; Greater than Moses, turn and look once more And smite a rock.


by Gerard Manley Hopkins | |

No Worst There Is None. Pitched Past Pitch Of Grief

 No worst, there is none.
Pitched past pitch of grief, More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting? Mary, mother of us, where is your relief? My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chief Woe, world-sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing— Then lull, then leave off.
Fury had shrieked 'No ling- ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief'.
O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed.
Hold them cheap May who ne'er hung there.
Nor does long our small Durance deal with that steep or deep.
Here! creep, Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: all Life death does end and each day dies with sleep.


by Anne Kingsmill Finch | |

Friendship Between Ephelia And Ardelia

 Eph.
What Friendship is, ARDELIA shew.
Ard.
'Tis to love, as I love You.
Eph.
This Account, so short (tho' kind) Suits not my enquiring Mind.
Therefore farther now repeat; What is Friendship when complete? Ard.
'Tis to share all Joy and Grief; 'Tis to lend all due Relief From the Tongue, the Heart, the Hand; 'Tis to mortgage House and Land; For a Friend be sold a Slave; 'Tis to die upon a Grave, If a Friend therein do lie.
Eph.
This indeed, tho' carry'd high, This, tho' more than e'er was done Underneath the rolling Sun, This has all been said before.
Can ARDELIA say no more? Ard.
Words indeed no more can shew: But 'tis to love, as I love you.


by Anne Kingsmill Finch | |

Moral Song

 Would we attain the happiest State, 
That is design'd us here; 
No Joy a Rapture must create, 
No Grief beget Despair.
No Injury fierce Anger raise, No Honour tempt to Pride; No vain Desires of empty Praise Must in the Soul abide.
No Charms of Youth, or Beauty move The constant, settl'd Breast: Who leaves a Passage free to Love, Shall let in, all the rest.
In such a Heart soft Peace will live, Where none of these abound; The greatest Blessing, Heav'n do's give, Or can on Earth be found.


by Constantine P Cavafy | |

Since Nine OClock

 Half past twelve.
Time has gone by quickly since nine o'clock when I lit the lamp and sat down here.
I've been sitting without reading, without speaking.
Completely alone in the house, whom could I talk to? Since nine o'clock when I lit the lamp the shade of my young body has come to haunt me, to remind me of shut scented rooms, of past sensual pleasure - what daring pleasure.
And it's also brought back to me streets now unrecognizable, bustling night clubs now closed, theatres and cafes no longer here.
The shade of my young body also brought back the things that make us sad: family grief, separations, the feelings of my own people, feelings of the dead so little acknowledged.
Half past twelve.
How the time has gone by.
Half past twelve.
How the years have gone by.


by William Henry Davies | |

the moon

 when the body of a woman dissolves
within are the three feared faces

the man who dares to trace them comes
to grief - but nothing personal is meant

waves and particles transvest - vulva
breast and womb are sexless doors 

beyond whose suck a sensual light
swings life round its little finger


by William Henry Davies | |

The Dark Hour

 And now, when merry winds do blow, 
And rain makes trees look fresh, 
An overpowering staleness holds 
This mortal flesh.
Though well I love to feel the rain, And be by winds well blown -- The mystery of mortal life Doth press me down.
And, In this mood, come now what will, Shine Rainbow, Cuckoo call; There is no thing in Heaven or Earth Can lift my soul.
I know not where this state comes from -- No cause for grief I know; The Earth around is fresh and green, Flowers near me grow.
I sit between two fair rose trees; Red roses on my right, And on my left side roses are A lovely white.
The little birds are full of joy, Lambs bleating all the day; The colt runs after the old mare, And children play.
And still there comes this dark, dark hour -- Which is not borne of Care; Into my heart it creeps before I am aware.


by William Henry Davies | |

The Hawk

 Thou dost not fly, thou art not perched, 
The air is all around: 
What is it that can keep thee set, 
From falling to the ground? 
The concentration of thy mind 
Supports thee in the air; 
As thou dost watch the small young birgs, 
With such a deadly care.
My mind has such a hawk as thou, It is an evil mood; It comes when there's no cause for grief, And on my joys doth brood.
Then do I see my life in parts; The earth receives my bones, The common air absorbs my mind--- It knows not flowers from stones.


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

Reuben Bright

 Because he was a butcher and thereby 
Did earn an honest living (and did right), 
I would not have you think that Reuben Bright
Was any more a brute than you or I; 
For when they told him that his wife must die, 
He stared at them, and shook with grief and fright, 
And cried like a great baby half that night, 
And made the women cry to see him cry.
And after she was dead, and he had paid The singers and the sexton and the rest, He packed a lot of things that she had made Most mournfully away in an old chest Of hers, and put some chopped-up cedar boughs In with them, and tore down the slaughter-house.


by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

On the Night of a Friends Wedding

 If ever I am old, and all alone, 
I shall have killed one grief, at any rate; 
For then, thank God, I shall not have to wait 
Much longer for the sheaves that I have sown.
The devil only knows what I have done, But here I am, and here are six or eight Good friends, who most ingenuously prate About my songs to such and such a one.
But everything is all askew to-night,— As if the time were come, or almost come, For their untenanted mirage of me To lose itself and crumble out of sight, Like a tall ship that floats above the foam A little while, and then breaks utterly.