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Best Famous Journey Poems

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

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Written by Wang Wei | |


I have sailed the River of Yellow Flowers, 
Borne by the channel of a green stream, 
Rounding ten thousand turns through the mountains 
On a journey of less than thirty miles.
Rapids hum over heaped rocks; But where light grows dim in the thick pines, The surface of an inlet sways with nut-horns And weeds are lush along the banks.
Down in my heart I have always been as pure As this limpid water is.
Oh, to remain on a broad flat rock And to cast a fishing-line forever!

Written by John Greenleaf Whittier | |

Telling the Bees

 Here is the place; right over the hill 
Runs the path I took; 
You can see the gap in the old wall still, 
And the stepping-stones in the shallow brook.
There is the house, with the gate red-barred, And the poplars tall; And the barn's brown length, and the cattle-yard, And the white horns tossing above the wall.
There are the beehives ranged in the sun; And down by the brink Of the brook are her poor flowers, weed-o'errun, Pansy and daffodil, rose and pink.
A year has gone, as the tortoise goes, Heavy and slow; And the same rose blows, and the same sun glows, And the same brook sings of a year ago.
There 's the same sweet clover-smell in the breeze; And the June sun warm Tangles his wings of fire in the trees, Setting, as then, over Fernside farm.
I mind me how with a lover's care From my Sunday coat I brushed off the burrs, and smoothed my hair, And cooled at the brookside my brow and throat.
Since we parted, a month had passed, -- To love, a year; Down through the beeches I looked at last On the little red gate and the well-sweep near.
I can see it all now, -- the slantwise rain Of light through the leaves, The sundown's blaze on her window-pane, The bloom of her roses under the eaves.
Just the same as a month before, -- The house and the trees, The barn's brown gable, the vine by the door, -- Nothing changed but the hives of bees.
Before them, under the garden wall, Forward and back, Went drearily singing the chore-girl small, Draping each hive with a shred of black.
Trembling, I listened: the summer sun Had the chill of snow; For I knew she was telling the bees of one Gone on the journey we all must go! Then I said to myself, "My Mary weeps For the dead to-day: Haply her blind old grandsire sleeps The fret and the pain of his age away.
" But her dog whined low; on the doorway sill, With his cane to his chin, The old man sat; and the chore-girl still Sung to the bees stealing out and in.
And the song she was singing ever since In my ear sounds on: -- "Stay at home, pretty bees, fly not hence! Mistress Mary is dead and gone!"

Written by William Lisle Bowles | |

Sonnet: Languid And Sad And Slow From Day To Day

 Languid, and sad, and slow, from day to day
I journey on, yet pensive turn to view
(Where the rich landscape gleams with softer hue)
The streams and vales, and hills, that steal away.
So fares it with the children of the earth: For when life's goodly prospect opens round, Their spirits beat to tread that fairy ground, Where every vale sounds to the pipe of mirth.
But them vain hope and easy youth beguiles, And soon a longing look, like me, they cast Back on the pleasing prospect of the past: Yet Fancy points where still far onward smiles Some sunny spot, and her fair colouring blends, Till cheerless on their path the night descends!

More great poems below...

Written by William Lisle Bowles | |

Languid And Sad And Slow From Day To Day

 Languid, and sad, and slow, from day to day 
I journey on, yet pensive turn to view 
(Where the rich landscape gleams with softer hue) 
The streams and vales, and hills, that steal away.
So fares it with the children of the earth: For when life's goodly prospect opens round, Their spirits beat to tread that fairy ground, Where every vale sounds to the pipe of mirth.
But them vain hope and easy youth beguiles, And soon a longing look, like me, they cast Back on the pleasing prospect of the past: Yet Fancy points where still far onward smiles Some sunny spot, and her fair colouring blends, Till cheerless on their path the night descends!

Written by William Cullen Bryant | |

The Constellations

 O constellations of the early night, 
That sparkled brighter as the twilight died, 
And made the darkness glorious! I have seen 
Your rays grow dim upon the horizon's edge, 
And sink behind the mountains.
I have seen The great Orion, with his jewelled belt, That large-limbed warrior of the skies, go down Into the gloom.
Beside him sank a crowd Of shining ones.
I look in vain to find The group of sister-stars, which mothers love To show their wondering babes, the gentle Seven.
Along the desert space mine eyes in vain Seek the resplendent cressets which the Twins Uplifted in their ever-youthful hands.
The streaming tresses of the Egyptian Queen Spangle the heavens no more.
The Virgin trails No more her glittering garments through the blue.
Gone! all are gone! and the forsaken Night, With all her winds, in all her dreary wastes, Sighs that they shine upon her face no more.
No only here and there a little star Looks forth alone.
Ah me! I know them not, Those dim successors of the numberless host That filled the heavenly fields, and flung to earth Their guivering fires.
And now the middle watch Betwixt the eve and morn is past, and still The darkness gains upon the sky, and still It closes round my way.
Shall, then, the Night, Grow starless in her later hours? Have these No train of flaming watchers, that shall mark Their coming and farewell? O Sons of Light! Have ye then left me ere the dawn of day To grope along my journey sad and faint? Thus I complained, and from the darkness round A voice replied--was it indeed a voice, Or seeming accents of a waking dream Heard by the inner ear? But thus it said: O Traveller of the Night! thine eyes are dim With watching; and the mists, that chill the vale Down which thy feet are passing, hide from view The ever-burning stars.
It is thy sight That is so dark, and not the heaens.
Thine eyes, Were they but clear, would see a fiery host Above thee; Hercules, with flashing mace, The Lyre with silver cords, the Swan uppoised On gleaming wings, the Dolphin gliding on With glistening scales, and that poetic steed, With beamy mane, whose hoof struck out from earth The fount of Hippocrene, and many more, Fair clustered splendors, with whose rays the Night Shall close her march in glory, ere she yield, To the young Day, the great earth steeped in dew.
So spake the monitor, and I perceived How vain were my repinings, and my thought Went backward to the vanished years and all The good and great who came and passed with them, And knew that ever would the years to come Bring with them, in their course, the good and great, Lights of the world, though, to my clouded sight, Their rays might seem but dim, or reach me not.

Written by Alec Derwent (A D) Hope | |

Observation Car

 To be put on the train and kissed and given my ticket, 
Then the station slid backward, the shops and the neon lighting, 
Reeling off in a drunken blur, with a whole pound note in my pocket 
And the holiday packed with Perhaps.
It used to be very exciting.
The present and past were enough.
I did not mind having my back To the engine.
I sat like a spider and spun Time backward out of my guts - or rather my eyes - and the track Was a Now dwindling off to oblivion.
I thought it was fun: The telegraph poles slithered up in a sudden crescendo As we sliced the hill and scattered its grazing sheep; The days were a wheeling delirium that led without end to Nights when we plunged into roaring tunnels of sleep.
But now I am tired of the train.
I have learned that one tree Is much like another, one hill the dead spit of the next I have seen tailing off behind all the various types of country Like a clock running down.
I am bored and a little perplexed; And weak with the effort of endless evacuation Of the long monotonous Now, the repetitive, tidy Officialdom of each siding, of each little station Labelled Monday, Tuesday - and goodness ! what happened to - Friday ? And the maddening way the other passengers alter: The schoolgirl who goes to the Ladies' comes back to her seat A lollipop blonde who leads you on to assault her, And you've just got her skirts round her waist and her pants round her feet When you find yourself fumbling about the nightmare knees Of a pink hippopotamus with a permanent wave Who sends you for sandwiches and a couple of teas, But by then she has whiskers, no teeth and one foot in the grave.
I have lost my faith that the ticket tells where we are going.
There are rumours the driver is mad - we are all being trucked To the abattoirs somewhere - the signals are jammed and unknowing We aim through the night full speed at a wrecked viaduct.
But I do not believe them.
The future is rumour and drivel; Only the past is assured.
From the observation car I stand looking back and watching the landscape shrivel, Wondering where we are going and just where the hell we are, Remembering how I planned to break the journey, to drive My own car one day, to have choice in my hands and my foot upon power, To see through the trumpet throat of vertiginous perspective My urgent Now explode continually into flower, To be the Eater of Time, a poet and not that sly Anus of mind the historian.
It was so simple and plain To live by the sole, insatiable influx of the eye.
But something went wrong with the plan: I am still on the train.

Written by Louisa May Alcott | |

From The Short Story What The Swallows Did

 Swallow, swallow, neighbor swallow, 
Starting on your autumn flight, 
Pause a moment at my window, 
Twitter softly your good-night; 
For the summer days are over, 
All your duties are well done, 
And the happy homes you builded 
Have grown empty, one by one.
Swallow, swallow, neighbor swallow, Are you ready for your flight? Are all the feather cloaks completed? Are the little caps all right? Are the young wings strong and steady For the journey through the sky? Come again in early spring-time; And till then, good-by, good-by!

Written by Louisa May Alcott | |

Lily-Bell and Thistledown Song I

 Awake! Awake! for the earliest gleam 
Of golden sunlight shines 
On the rippling waves, that brightly flow 
Beneath the flowering vines.
Awake! Awake! for the low, sweet chant Of the wild-birds' morning hymn Comes floating by on the fragrant air, Through the forest cool and dim; Then spread each wing, And work, and sing, Through the long, bright sunny hours; O'er the pleasant earth We journey forth, For a day among the flowers.
Awake! Awake! for the summer wind Hath bidden the blossoms unclose, Hath opened the violet's soft blue eye, And awakened the sleeping rose.
And lightly they wave on their slender stems Fragrant, and fresh, and fair, Waiting for us, as we singing come To gather our honey-dew there.
Then spread each wing, And work, and sing, Through the long, bright sunny hours; O'er the pleasant earth We journey forth, For a day among the flowers.

Written by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi | |

If A Tree Could Wander

Oh, if a tree could wander

     and move with foot and wings!

It would not suffer the axe blows

     and not the pain of saws!

For would the sun not wander

     away in every night ?

How could at ev’ry morning

     the world be lighted up?

And if the ocean’s water

     would not rise to the sky,

How would the plants be quickened

     by streams and gentle rain?

The drop that left its homeland,

     the sea, and then returned ?

It found an oyster waiting

     and grew into a pearl.

Did Yusaf not leave his father,

     in grief and tears and despair?

Did he not, by such a journey,

     gain kingdom and fortune wide?

Did not the Prophet travel

     to far Medina, friend?

And there he found a new kingdom

     and ruled a hundred lands.

You lack a foot to travel?

     Then journey into yourself!

And like a mine of rubies

     receive the sunbeams? print!

Out of yourself ? such a journey

     will lead you to your self,

It leads to transformation

     of dust into pure gold!


Look! This is Love – Poems of Rumi,

Annemarie Schimmel

Written by Mihai Eminescu | |


'Tis eve on the hillside, the bagpipes are distantly wailing, 
Flocks going homewards, and stars o'er the firmament sailing, 
Sound of the bubbling spring sorrow's legend narrating, 
And beneath a tall willow for me, dear one, you are waiting.
The wandering moon up the heavens her journey is wending, Big-eyed you watch through the boughs her gold lantern ascending, Now over the dome of the sky all the planets are gleaming, And heavy your breast with its longing, your brow with its dreaming.
Cornfields bright flooded with beams by the clouds steeply drifted, Old cottage gables of thatch to the moonlight uplifted, The tall wooden arm of the well in the wind softly grating, And the shepherd-boy's pipe from the sheep-pen sad "doina" relating.
The peasants, their scythes on their backs, from their labour are coming, The sound of the "toaca" its summons more loudly is drumming, While the clang of the village church bell fills the evening entire, And with longing for you like a faggot my soul is on fire.
O, soon will the village be silent and scarce a light burning, O, soon eager steps to the hillside again I'll be turning, And all the night long I will clasp you in love's hungry fashion, And in secret we'll tell to each other the tale of our passion.
Till at last we will fall fast asleep neath the shade of that willow, Your lips drawn aside in a smile and your breast for my pillow, O, to live one such beautiful night all these wonders fulfilling And barter the rest of existence, who would not be willing? English version by Corneliu M.
Popescu Transcribed by Catalina Stoica School No.
10, Focsani, Romania

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay | |


 It was not like your great and gracious ways! 
Do you, that have naught other to lament, 
Never, my Love, repent 
Of how, that July afternoon, 
You went,
With sudden, unintelligible phrase, 
And frighten'd eye, 
Upon your journey of so many days 
Without a single kiss, or a good-bye? 
I knew, indeed, that you were parting soon; 
And so we sate, within the low sun's rays, 
You whispering to me, for your voice was weak, 
Your harrowing praise.
Well, it was well To hear you such things speak, And I could tell What made your eyes a growing gloom of love, As a warm South-wind sombres a March grove.
And it was like your great and gracious ways To turn your talk on daily things, my Dear, Lifting the luminous, pathetic lash To let the laughter flash, Whilst I drew near, Because you spoke so low that I could scarcely hear.
But all at once to leave me at the last, More at the wonder than the loss aghast, With huddled, unintelligible phrase, And frighten'd eye, And go your journey of all days With not one kiss, or a good-bye, And the only loveless look the look with which you pass'd: 'Twas all unlike your great and gracious ways.

Written by Edna St Vincent Millay | |


 Ah, could I lay me down in this long grass
And close my eyes, and let the quiet wind
Blow over me—I am so tired, so tired
Of passing pleasant places! All my life,
Following Care along the dusty road,
Have I looked back at loveliness and sighed;
Yet at my hand an unrelenting hand
Tugged ever, and I passed.
All my life long Over my shoulder have I looked at peace; And now I fain would lie in this long grass And close my eyes.
Yet onward! Cat birds call Through the long afternoon, and creeks at dusk Are guttural.
Whip-poor-wills wake and cry, Drawing the twilight close about their throats.
Only my heart makes answer.
Eager vines Go up the rocks and wait; flushed apple-trees Pause in their dance and break the ring for me; And bayberry, that through sweet bevies thread Of round-faced roses, pink and petulant, Look back and beckon ere they disappear.
Only my heart, only my heart responds.
Yet, ah, my path is sweet on either side All through the dragging day,—sharp underfoot And hot, and like dead mist the dry dust hangs— But far, oh, far as passionate eye can reach, And long, ah, long as rapturous eye can cling, The world is mine: blue hill, still silver lake, Broad field, bright flower, and the long white road A gateless garden, and an open path: My feet to follow, and my heart to hold.

Written by Petrarch | |


[Pg 57]


Perchè al viso d' Amor portava insegna.


Bright in whose face Love's conquering ensign stream'd,
A foreign fair so won me, young and vain,
That of her sex all others worthless seem'd:
Her as I follow'd o'er the verdant plain,
I heard a loud voice speaking from afar,
"How lost in these lone woods his footsteps are!"
Then paused I, and, beneath the tall beech shade,
All wrapt in thought, around me well survey'd,
Till, seeing how much danger block'd my way,
Homeward I turn'd me though at noon of day.

Written by Petrarch | |



Orso, al vostro destrier si può ben porre.


Orso, a curb upon thy gallant horse
Well may we place to turn him from his course,
But who thy heart may bind against its will
Which honour courts and shuns dishonour still?
Sigh not! for nought its praise away can take,
Though Fate this journey hinder you to make.
For, as already voiced by general fame,
Now is it there, and none before it came.
Amid the camp, upon the day design'd,
Enough itself beneath those arms to find
Which youth, love, valour, and near blood concern,
Crying aloud: With noble fire I burn,
As my good lord unwillingly at home,
Who pines and languishes in vain to come.

Written by Petrarch | |



Sì traviato è 'l folle mio desio.


So wayward now my will, and so unwise,
To follow her who turns from me in flight,
And, from love's fetters free herself and light,
Before my slow and shackled motion flies,
[Pg 6]That less it lists, the more my sighs and cries
Would point where passes the safe path and right,
Nor aught avails to check or to excite,
For Love's own nature curb and spur defies.
Thus, when perforce the bridle he has won,
And helpless at his mercy I remain,
Against my will he speeds me to mine end
'Neath yon cold laurel, whose false boughs upon
Hangs the harsh fruit, which, tasted, spreads the pain
I sought to stay, and mars where it should mend.
My tameless will doth recklessly pursue
Her, who, unshackled by love's heavy chain,
Flies swiftly from its chase, whilst I in vain
My fetter'd journey pantingly renew;
The safer track I offer to its view,
But hopeless is my power to restrain,
It rides regardless of the spur or rein;
Love makes it scorn the hand that would subdue.
The triumph won, the bridle all its own,
Without one curb I stand within its power,
And my destruction helplessly presage:
It guides me to that laurel, ever known,
To all who seek the healing of its flower,
To aggravate the wound it should assuage.