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Best Famous Language Poems

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

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by Ben Jonson |

His Excuse for Loving

Let it not your wonder move, 
Less your laughter, that I love. 
Though I now write fifty years, 
I have had, and have, my peers. 
Poets, though divine, are men; 
Some have loved as old again. 
And it is not always face, 
Clothes, or fortune gives the grace, 
Or the feature, or the youth; 
But the language and the truth, 
With the ardor and the passion, 
Gives the lover weight and fashion. 
If you then would hear the story, 
First, prepare you to be sorry 
That you never knew till now 
Either whom to love or how; 
But be glad as soon with me 
When you hear that this is she 
Of whose beauty it was sung, 
She shall make the old man young, 
Keep the middle age at stay, 
And let nothing hide decay, 
Till she be the reason why 
All the world for love may die. 


by William Wordsworth |

Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey

Five years have passed; five summers, with the length 
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur.  Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedgerows, hardly hedgerows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone. 

                               These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye;
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind
With tranquil restoration—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love.  Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened—that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on—
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul;
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things. 

                                           If this
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft—
In darkness and amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart—
How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer through the woods,
How often has my spirit turned to thee! 

  And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again;
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years.  And so I dare to hope,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came among these hills; when like a roe
I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Wherever nature led—more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads than one
Who sought the thing he loved.  For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days
And their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all.—I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion; the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colors and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, not any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompense.  For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue.  And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air, 
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels 
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear—both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognize
In nature and the language of the sense
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, 
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being. 

                                   Nor perchance,
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me here upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes.  Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! and this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings.  Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance—
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence—wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came
Unwearied in that service; rather say
With warmer love—oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love.  Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!


by Phillis Wheatley |

To S. M. a young African Painter on seeing his Works

To show the lab'ring bosom's deep intent,
And thought in living characters to paint,
When first thy pencil did those beauties give,
And breathing figures learnt from thee to live,
How did those prospects give my soul delight,
A new creation rushing on my sight?
Still, wond'rous youth! each noble path pursue,
On deathless glories fix thine ardent view:
Still may the painter's and the poet's fire
To aid thy pencil, and thy verse conspire!
And may the charms of each seraphic theme
Conduct thy footsteps to immortal fame!
High to the blissful wonders of the skies
Elate thy soul, and raise thy wishful eyes.
Thrice happy, when exalted to survey
That splendid city, crown'd with endless day,
Whose twice six gates on radiant hinges ring:
Celestial Salem blooms in endless spring.

Calm and serene thy moments glide along,
And may the muse inspire each future song!
Still, with the sweets of contemplation bless'd,
May peace with balmy wings your soul invest!
But when these shades of time are chas'd away,
And darkness ends in everlasting day,
On what seraphic pinions shall we move,
And view the landscapes in the realms above?
There shall thy tongue in heav'nly murmurs flow,
And there my muse with heav'nly transport glow:
No more to tell of Damon's tender sighs,
Or rising radiance of Aurora's eyes,
For nobler themes demand a nobler strain,
And purer language on th' ethereal plain.
Cease, gentle muse! the solemn gloom of night
Now seals the fair creation from my sight.


by Katherine Philips |

On the Welch Language

If honor to an ancient name be due,
Or riches challenge it for one that's new,
The British language claims in either sense
Both for its age, and for its opulence.
But all great things must be from us removed,
To be with higher reverence beloved.
So landskips which in prospects distant lie,
With greater wonder draw the pleasèd eye.
Is not great Troy to one dark ruin hurled?
Once the fam'd scene of all the fighting world.
Where's Athens now, to whom Rome learning owes,
And the safe laurels that adorned her brows?
A strange reverse of fate she did endure,
Never once greater, than she's now obscure.
Even Rome her self can but some footsteps show
Of Scipio's times, or those of Cicero.
And as the Roman and the Grecian state,
The British fell, the spoil of time and fate.
But though the language hath the beauty lost,
Yet she has still some great remains to boast,
For 'twas in that, the sacred bards of old,
In deathless numbers did their thoughts unfold.
In groves, by rivers, and on fertile plains,
They civilized and taught the listening swains;
Whilst with high raptures, and as great success,
Virtue they clothed in music's charming dress.
This Merlin spoke, who in his gloomy cave,
Even Destiny her self seemed to enslave.
For to his sight the future time was known,
Much better than to others is their own;
And with such state, predictions from him fell,
As if he did decree, and not foretell.
This spoke King Arthur, who, if fame be true,
Could have compelled mankind to speak it too.
In this one Boadicca valor taught,
And spoke more nobly than her soldiers fought:
Tell me what hero could be more than she,
Who fell at once for fame and liberty?
Nor could a greater sacrifice belong,
Or to her children's, or her country's wrong.
This spoke Caractacus, who was so brave,
That to the Roman fortune check he gave:
And when their yoke he could decline no more,
He it so decently and nobly wore,
That Rome her self with blushes did believe,
A Britain would the law of honor give;
And hastily his chains away she threw,
Lest her own captive else should her subdue.


by Edgar Allan Poe |

The One in Paradise

THOU wast that all to me love 
For which my soul did pine --
A green isle in the sea love 
A fountain and a shrine 
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers 
And all the flowers were mine.

Ah dream too bright to last!
Ah starry Hope! that didst arise
But to be overcast!
A voice from out the Future cries 
"On! on!" -- but o'er the Past
(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies
Mute motionless aghast!

For alas! alas! with me
The light of Life is o'er!
No more -- no more -- no more --
(Such language holds the solemn sea
To the sands upon the shore)
Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree 
Or the stricken eagle soar!

And all my days are trances 
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances 
And where thy footstep gleams --
In what ethereal dances 
By what eternal streams.


by Sylvia Plath |

Daddy

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo. 

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time---
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal 

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off the beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du. 

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend 

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root, 
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw. 

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene 

An engine, an engine, 
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew. 

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna 
Are not very pure or true.
With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew. 

I have always been sacred of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You---- 

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you. 

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who 

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do. 

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look 

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through. 

If I've killed one man, I've killed two---
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now. 

There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through. 

(1962)


by John Keats |

La Belle Dame sans Merci

'O WHAT can ail thee knight-at-arms  
Alone and palely loitering? 
The sedge is wither'd from the lake  
And no birds sing. 

'O what can ail thee knight-at-arms 5 
So haggard and so woe-begone? 
The squirrel's granary is full  
And the harvest 's done. 

'I see a lily on thy brow 
With anguish moist and fever dew; 10 
And on thy cheeks a fading rose 
Fast withereth too.' 

'I met a lady in the meads  
Full beautiful¡ªa faery's child  
Her hair was long her foot was light 15 
And her eyes were wild. 

'I made a garland for her head  
And bracelets too and fragrant zone; 
She look'd at me as she did love  
And made sweet moan. 20 

'I set her on my pacing steed 
And nothing else saw all day long  
For sideways would she lean and sing 
A faery's song. 

'She found me roots of relish sweet 25 
And honey wild and manna dew  
And sure in language strange she said  
I love thee true!  

'She took me to her elfin grot  
And there she wept and sigh'd fill sore; 30 
And there I shut her wild wild eyes 
With kisses four. 

'And there she lull¨¨d me asleep  
And there I dream'd¡ªAh! woe betide! 
The latest dream I ever dream'd 35 
On the cold hill's side. 

'I saw pale kings and princes too  
Pale warriors death-pale were they all; 
They cried¡ª"La belle Dame sans Merci 
Hath thee in thrall!" 40 

'I saw their starved lips in the gloam 
With horrid warning gap¨¨d wide  
And I awoke and found me here  
On the cold hill's side. 

'And this is why I sojourn here 45 
Alone and palely loitering  
Though the sedge is wither'd from the lake  
And no birds sing.' 


by Percy Bysshe Shelley |

To a Lady with a Guitar

ARIEL to Miranda:¡ªTake 
This slave of music for the sake 
Of him who is the slave of thee; 
And teach it all the harmony 
In which thou canst and only thou 5 
Make the delighted spirit glow  
Till joy denies itself again 
And too intense is turn'd to pain. 
For by permission and command 
Of thine own Prince Ferdinand 10 
Poor Ariel sends this silent token 
Of more than ever can be spoken; 
Your guardian spirit Ariel who 
From life to life must still pursue 
Your happiness for thus alone 15 
Can Ariel ever find his own. 
From Prospero's enchanted cell  
As the mighty verses tell  
To the throne of Naples he 
Lit you o'er the trackless sea 20 
Flitting on your prow before  
Like a living meteor. 
When you die the silent Moon 
In her interlunar swoon 
Is not sadder in her cell 25 
Than deserted Ariel:¡ª 
When you live again on earth  
Like an unseen Star of birth 
Ariel guides you o'er the sea 
Of life from your nativity:¡ª 30 
Many changes have been run 
Since Ferdinand and you begun 
Your course of love and Ariel still 
Has track'd your steps and served your will. 
Now in humbler happier lot 35 
This is all remember'd not; 
And now alas the poor Sprite is 
Imprison'd for some fault of his 
In a body like a grave¡ª 
From you he only dares to crave 40 
For his service and his sorrow 
A smile to-day a song to-morrow. 

The artist who this viol wrought 
To echo all harmonious thought  
Fell'd a tree while on the steep 45 
The woods were in their winter sleep  
Rock'd in that repose divine 
On the wind-swept Apennine; 
And dreaming some of autumn past  
And some of spring approaching fast 50 
And some of April buds and showers  
And some of songs in July bowers  
And all of love; and so this tree ¡ª 
Oh that such our death may be!¡ª 
Died in sleep and felt no pain 55 
To live in happier form again: 
From which beneath heaven's fairest star  
The artist wrought this loved guitar; 
And taught it justly to reply 
To all who question skilfully 60 
In language gentle as thine own; 
Whispering in enamour'd tone 
Sweet oracles of woods and dells  
And summer winds in sylvan cells. 
For it had learnt all harmonies 65 
Of the plains and of the skies  
Of the forests and the mountains  
And the many-voic¨¨d fountains; 
The clearest echoes of the hills  
The softest notes of falling rills 70 
The melodies of birds and bees  
The murmuring of summer seas  
And pattering rain and breathing dew  
And airs of evening; and it knew 
That seldom-heard mysterious sound 75 
Which driven on its diurnal round  
As it floats through boundless day  
Our world enkindles on its way:¡ª 
All this it knows but will not tell 
To those who cannot question well 80 
The spirit that inhabits it: 
It talks according to the wit 
Of its companions; and no more 
Is heard than has been felt before 
By those who tempt it to betray 85 
These secrets of an elder day. 
But sweetly as its answers will 
Flatter hands of perfect skill  
It keeps its highest holiest tone 
For one beloved Friend alone. 90 


by Ralph Waldo Emerson |

Bacchus

BRING me wine but wine which never grew 
In the belly of the grape  
Or grew on vine whose tap-roots reaching through 
Under the Andes to the Cape  
Suffer'd no savour of the earth to 'scape. 5 

Let its grapes the morn salute 
From a nocturnal root  
Which feels the acrid juice 
Of Styx and Erebus; 
And turns the woe of Night 10 
By its own craft to a more rich delight. 

We buy ashes for bread; 
We buy diluted wine; 
Give me of the true  
Whose ample leaves and tendrils curl'd 15 
Among the silver hills of heaven 
Draw everlasting dew; 
Wine of wine  
Blood of the world  
Form of forms and mould of statures 20 
That I intoxicated  
And by the draught assimilated  
May float at pleasure through all natures; 
The bird-language rightly spell  
And that which roses say so well: 25 

Wine that is shed 
Like the torrents of the sun 
Up the horizon walls  
Or like the Atlantic streams which run 
When the South Sea calls. 30 

Water and bread  
Food which needs no transmuting  
Rainbow-flowering wisdom-fruiting  
Wine which is already man  
Food which teach and reason can. 35 

Wine which Music is ¡ª 
Music and wine are one ¡ª 
That I drinking this  
Shall hear far Chaos talk with me; 
Kings unborn shall walk with me; 40 
And the poor grass shall plot and plan 
What it will do when it is man. 
Quicken'd so will I unlock 
Every crypt of every rock. 

I thank the joyful juice 45 
For all I know; 
Winds of remembering 
Of the ancient being blow  
And seeming-solid walls of use 
Open and flow. 50 

Pour Bacchus! the remembering wine; 
Retrieve the loss of me and mine! 
Vine for vine be antidote  
And the grape requite the lote! 
Haste to cure the old despair; 55 
Reason in Nature's lotus drench'd¡ª 
The memory of ages quench'd¡ª 
Give them again to shine; 
Let wine repair what this undid; 
And where the infection slid 60 
A dazzling memory revive; 
Refresh the faded tints  
Recut the ag¨¨d prints  
And write my old adventures with the pen 
Which on the first day drew 65 
Upon the tablets blue  
The dancing Pleiads and eternal men. 


by Phillis Wheatley |

On the Death of a young Lady of Five Years of Age

From dark abodes to fair etherial light
Th' enraptur'd innocent has wing'd her flight;
On the kind bosom of eternal love
She finds unknown beatitude above.
This known, ye parents, nor her loss deplore,
She feels the iron hand of pain no more;
The dispensations of unerring grace,
Should turn your sorrows into grateful praise;
Let then no tears for her henceforward flow,
No more distress'd in our dark vale below,

Her morning sun, which rose divinely bright,
Was quickly mantled with the gloom of night;
But hear in heav'n's blest bow'rs your Nancy fair,
And learn to imitate her language there.
"Thou, Lord, whom I behold with glory crown'd,
"By what sweet name, and in what tuneful sound
"Wilt thou be prais'd?  Seraphic pow'rs are faint
"Infinite love and majesty to paint.
"To thee let all their graceful voices raise,
"And saints and angels join their songs of praise."

Perfect in bliss she from her heav'nly home
Looks down, and smiling beckons you to come;
Why then, fond parents, why these fruitless groans?
Restrain your tears, and cease your plaintive moans.
Freed from a world of sin, and snares, and pain,
Why would you wish your daughter back again?
No--bow resign'd.  Let hope your grief control,
And check the rising tumult of the soul.
Calm in the prosperous, and adverse day,
Adore the God who gives and takes away;
Eye him in all, his holy name revere,
Upright your actions, and your hearts sincere,
Till having sail'd through life's tempestuous sea,
And from its rocks, and boist'rous billows free,
Yourselves, safe landed on the blissful shore,
Shall join your happy babe to part no more.