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Best Famous Joyce Kilmer Poems

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

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Written by Joyce Kilmer |


 (For Sara Teasdale)

The lonely farm, the crowded street,
The palace and the slum,
Give welcome to my silent feet
As, bearing gifts, I come.
Last night a beggar crouched alone, A ragged helpless thing; I set him on a moonbeam throne -- Today he is a king.
Last night a king in orb and crown Held court with splendid cheer; Today he tears his purple gown And moans and shrieks in fear.
Not iron bars, nor flashing spears, Not land, nor sky, nor sea, Nor love's artillery of tears Can keep mine own from me.
Serene, unchanging, ever fair, I smile with secret mirth And in a net of mine own hair I swing the captive earth.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |


 (For Eleanor Rogers Cox)

For blows on the fort of evil
That never shows a breach,
For terrible life-long races
To a goal no foot can reach,
For reckless leaps into darkness
With hands outstretched to a star,
There is jubilation in Heaven
Where the great dead poets are.
There is joy over disappointment And delight in hopes that were vain.
Each poet is glad there was no cure To stop his lonely pain.
For nothing keeps a poet In his high singing mood Like unappeasable hunger For unattainable food.
So fools are glad of the folly That made them weep and sing, And Keats is thankful for Fanny Brawne And Drummond for his king.
They know that on flinty sorrow And failure and desire The steel of their souls was hammered To bring forth the lyric fire.
Lord Byron and Shelley and Plunkett, McDonough and Hunt and Pearse See now why their hatred of tyrants Was so insistently fierce.
Is Freedom only a Will-o'-the-wisp To cheat a poet's eye? Be it phantom or fact, it's a noble cause In which to sing and to die! So not for the Rainbow taken And the magical White Bird snared The poets sing grateful carols In the place to which they have fared; But for their lifetime's passion, The quest that was fruitless and long, They chorus their loud thanksgiving To the thorn-crowned Master of Song.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |

St. Laurence

 Within the broken Vatican
The murdered Pope is lying dead.
The soldiers of Valerian Their evil hands are wet and red.
Unarmed, unmoved, St.
Laurence waits, His cassock is his only mail.
The troops of Hell have burst the gates, But Christ is Lord, He shall prevail.
They have encompassed him with steel, They spit upon his gentle face, He smiles and bleeds, nor will reveal The Church's hidden treasure-place.
Ah, faithful steward, worthy knight, Well hast thou done.
Behold thy fee! Since thou hast fought the goodly fight A martyr's death is fixed for thee.
Laurence, pray for us to bear The faith which glorifies thy name.
Laurence, pray for us to share The wounds of Love's consuming flame.

More great poems below...

Written by Joyce Kilmer |

The Proud Poet

 (For Shaemas O Sheel)

One winter night a Devil came and sat upon my bed,
His eyes were full of laughter for his heart was full of crime.
"Why don't you take up fancy work, or embroidery?" he said, "For a needle is as manly a tool as a pen that makes a rhyme!" "You little ugly Devil," said I, "go back to Hell For the idea you express I will not listen to: I have trouble enough with poetry and poverty as well, Without having to pay attention to orators like you.
"When you say of the making of ballads and songs that it is woman's work You forget all the fighting poets that have been in every land.
There was Byron who left all his lady-loves to fight against the Turk, And David, the Singing King of the Jews, who was born with a sword in his hand.
It was yesterday that Rupert Brooke went out to the Wars and died, And Sir Philip Sidney's lyric voice was as sweet as his arm was strong; And Sir Walter Raleigh met the axe as a lover meets his bride, Because he carried in his soul the courage of his song.
"And there is no consolation so quickening to the heart As the warmth and whiteness that come from the lines of noble poetry.
It is strong joy to read it when the wounds of the spirit smart, It puts the flame in a lonely breast where only ashes be.
It is strong joy to read it, and to make it is a thing That exalts a man with a sacreder pride than any pride on earth.
For it makes him kneel to a broken slave and set his foot on a king, And it shakes the walls of his little soul with the echo of God's mirth.
"There was the poet Homer had the sorrow to be blind, Yet a hundred people with good eyes would listen to him all night; For they took great enjoyment in the heaven of his mind, And were glad when the old blind poet let them share his powers of sight.
And there was Heine lying on his mattress all day long, He had no wealth, he had no friends, he had no joy at all, Except to pour his sorrow into little cups of song, And the world finds in them the magic wine that his broken heart let fall.
"And these are only a couple of names from a list of a thousand score Who have put their glory on the world in poverty and pain.
And the title of poet's a noble thing, worth living and dying for, Though all the devils on earth and in Hell spit at me their disdain.
It is stern work, it is perilous work, to thrust your hand in the sun And pull out a spark of immortal flame to warm the hearts of men: But Prometheus, torn by the claws and beaks whose task is never done, Would be tortured another eternity to go stealing fire again.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |

The Annunciation

 (For Helen Parry Eden)

"Hail Mary, full of grace," the Angel saith.
Our Lady bows her head, and is ashamed; She has a Bridegroom Who may not be named, Her mortal flesh bears Him Who conquers death.
Now in the dust her spirit grovelleth; Too bright a Sun before her eyes has flamed, Too fair a herald joy too high proclaimed, And human lips have trembled in God's breath.
O Mother-Maid, thou art ashamed to cover With thy white self, whereon no stain can be, Thy God, Who came from Heaven to be thy Lover, Thy God, Who came from Heaven to dwell in thee.
About thy head celestial legions hover, Chanting the praise of thy humility.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |

The Snowman in the Yard

 (For Thomas Augustine Daly)

The Judge's house has a splendid porch, with pillars 
and steps of stone,
And the Judge has a lovely flowering hedge that came from across 
the seas;
In the Hales' garage you could put my house and everything I own,
And the Hales have a lawn like an emerald and a row of poplar trees.
Now I have only a little house, and only a little lot, And only a few square yards of lawn, with dandelions starred; But when Winter comes, I have something there that the Judge and the Hales have not, And it's better worth having than all their wealth -- it's a snowman in the yard.
The Judge's money brings architects to make his mansion fair; The Hales have seven gardeners to make their roses grow; The Judge can get his trees from Spain and France and everywhere, And raise his orchids under glass in the midst of all the snow.
But I have something no architect or gardener ever made, A thing that is shaped by the busy touch of little mittened hands: And the Judge would give up his lonely estate, where the level snow is laid For the tiny house with the trampled yard, the yard where the snowman stands.
They say that after Adam and Eve were driven away in tears To toil and suffer their life-time through, because of the sin they sinned, The Lord made Winter to punish them for half their exiled years, To chill their blood with the snow, and pierce their flesh with the icy wind.
But we who inherit the primal curse, and labour for our bread, Have yet, thank God, the gift of Home, though Eden's gate is barred: And through the Winter's crystal veil, Love's roses blossom red, For him who lives in a house that has a snowman in the yard.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |


 (For Aline)

From what old ballad, or from what rich frame
Did you descend to glorify the earth?
Was it from Chaucer's singing book you came?
Or did Watteau's small brushes give you birth?
Nothing so exquisite as that slight hand
Could Raphael or Leonardo trace.
Nor could the poets know in Fairyland The changing wonder of your lyric face.
I would possess a host of lovely things, But I am poor and such joys may not be.
So God who lifts the poor and humbles kings Sent loveliness itself to dwell with me.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |


 (For Amelia Josephine Burr)

The road is wide and the stars are out
and the breath of the night is sweet,
And this is the time when wanderlust should seize upon my feet.
But I'm glad to turn from the open road and the starlight on my face, And to leave the splendour of out-of-doors for a human dwelling place.
I never have seen a vagabond who really liked to roam All up and down the streets of the world and not to have a home: The tramp who slept in your barn last night and left at break of day Will wander only until he finds another place to stay.
A gypsy-man will sleep in his cart with canvas overhead; Or else he'll go into his tent when it is time for bed.
He'll sit on the grass and take his ease so long as the sun is high, But when it is dark he wants a roof to keep away the sky.
If you call a gypsy a vagabond, I think you do him wrong, For he never goes a-travelling but he takes his home along.
And the only reason a road is good, as every wanderer knows, Is just because of the homes, the homes, the homes to which it goes.
They say that life is a highway and its milestones are the years, And now and then there's a toll-gate where you buy your way with tears.
It's a rough road and a steep road and it stretches broad and far, But at last it leads to a golden Town where golden Houses are.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |

Mount Houvenkopf

 Serene he stands, with mist serenely crowned,
And draws a cloak of trees about his breast.
The thunder roars but cannot break his rest And from his rugged face the tempests bound.
He does not heed the angry lightning's wound, The raging blizzard is his harmless guest, And human life is but a passing jest To him who sees Time spin the years around.
But fragile souls, in skyey reaches find High vantage-points and view him from afar.
How low he seems to the ascended mind, How brief he seems where all things endless are; This little playmate of the mighty wind This young companion of an ancient star.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |



When, on a novel's newly printed page
We find a maudlin eulogy of sin,
And read of ways that harlots wander in,
And of sick souls that writhe in helpless rage;
Or when Romance, bespectacled and sage,
Taps on her desk and bids the class begin
To con the problems that have always been
Perplexed mankind's unhappy heritage;
Then in what robes of honor habited
The laureled wizard of the North appears!
Who raised Prince Charlie's cohorts from the dead,
Made Rose's mirth and Flora's noble tears,
And formed that shining legion at whose head
Rides Waverley, triumphant o'er the years!

Written by Joyce Kilmer |

Easter Week

 (In memory of Joseph Mary Plunkett)

("Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.
") William Butler Yeats.
"Romantic Ireland's dead and gone, It's with O'Leary in the grave.
" Then, Yeats, what gave that Easter dawn A hue so radiantly brave? There was a rain of blood that day, Red rain in gay blue April weather.
It blessed the earth till it gave birth To valour thick as blooms of heather.
Romantic Ireland never dies! O'Leary lies in fertile ground, And songs and spears throughout the years Rise up where patriot graves are found.
Immortal patriots newly dead And ye that bled in bygone years, What banners rise before your eyes? What is the tune that greets your ears? The young Republic's banners smile For many a mile where troops convene.
O'Connell Street is loudly sweet With strains of Wearing of the Green.
The soil of Ireland throbs and glows With life that knows the hour is here To strike again like Irishmen For that which Irishmen hold dear.
Lord Edward leaves his resting place And Sarsfield's face is glad and fierce.
See Emmet leap from troubled sleep To grasp the hand of Padraic Pearse! There is no rope can strangle song And not for long death takes his toll.
No prison bars can dim the stars Nor quicklime eat the living soul.
Romantic Ireland is not old.
For years untold her youth will shine.
Her heart is fed on Heavenly bread, The blood of martyrs is her wine.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |


 A few long-hoarded pennies in his hand
Behold him stand;
A kilted Hedonist, perplexed and sad.
The joy that once he had, The first delight of ownership is fled.
He bows his little head.
Ah, cruel Time, to kill That splendid thrill! Then in his tear-dimmed eyes New lights arise.
He drops his treasured pennies on the ground, They roll and bound And scattered, rest.
Now with what zest He runs to find his errant wealth again! So unto men Doth God, depriving that He may bestow.
Fame, health and money go, But that they may, new found, be newly sweet.
Yea, at His feet Sit, waiting us, to their concealment bid, All they, our lovers, whom His Love hath hid.
Lo, comfort blooms on pain, and peace on strife, And gain on loss.
What is the key to Everlasting Life? A blood-stained Cross.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |


 Vain is the chiming of forgotten bells
That the wind sways above a ruined shrine.
Vainer his voice in whom no longer dwells Hunger that craves immortal Bread and Wine.
Light songs we breathe that perish with our breath Out of our lips that have not kissed the rod.
They shall not live who have not tasted death.
They only sing who are struck dumb by God.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |

The New School

 (For My Mother)

The halls that were loud with the merry tread of 
young and careless feet
Are still with a stillness that is too drear to seem like holiday,
And never a gust of laughter breaks the calm of the dreaming street
Or rises to shake the ivied walls and frighten the doves away.
The dust is on book and on empty desk, and the tennis-racquet and balls Lie still in their lonely locker and wait for a game that is never played, And over the study and lecture-room and the river and meadow falls A stern peace, a strange peace, a peace that War has made.
For many a youthful shoulder now is gay with an epaulet, And the hand that was deft with a cricket-bat is defter with a sword, And some of the lads will laugh to-day where the trench is red and wet, And some will win on the bloody field the accolade of the Lord.
They have taken their youth and mirth away from the study and playing-ground To a new school in an alien land beneath an alien sky; Out in the smoke and roar of the fight their lessons and games are found, And they who were learning how to live are learning how to die.
And after the golden day has come and the war is at an end, A slab of bronze on the chapel wall will tell of the noble dead.
And every name on that radiant list will be the name of a friend, A name that shall through the centuries in grateful prayers be said.
And there will be ghosts in the old school, brave ghosts with laughing eyes, On the field with a ghostly cricket-bat, by the stream with a ghostly rod; They will touch the hearts of the living with a flame that sanctifies, A flame that they took with strong young hands from the altar-fires of God.

Written by Joyce Kilmer |

Old Poets

 (For Robert Cortez Holliday)

If I should live in a forest
And sleep underneath a tree,
No grove of impudent saplings
Would make a home for me.
I'd go where the old oaks gather, Serene and good and strong, And they would not sigh and tremble And vex me with a song.
The pleasantest sort of poet Is the poet who's old and wise, With an old white beard and wrinkles About his kind old eyes.
For these young flippertigibbets A-rhyming their hours away They won't be still like honest men And listen to what you say.
The young poet screams forever About his sex and his soul; But the old man listens, and smokes his pipe, And polishes its bowl.
There should be a club for poets Who have come to seventy year.
They should sit in a great hall drinking Red wine and golden beer.
They would shuffle in of an evening, Each one to his cushioned seat, And there would be mellow talking And silence rich and sweet.
There is no peace to be taken With poets who are young, For they worry about the wars to be fought And the songs that must be sung.
But the old man knows that he's in his chair And that God's on His throne in the sky.
So he sits by the fire in comfort And he lets the world spin by.