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Best Famous Lyric Poems

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

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by Edwin Arlington Robinson | |

New England

 Here where the wind is always north-north-east
And children learn to walk on frozen toes,
Wonder begets an envy of all those
Who boil elsewhere with such a lyric yeast
Of love that you will hear them at a feast
Where demons would appeal for some repose,
Still clamoring where the chalice overflows
And crying wildest who have drunk the least.
Passion is here a soilure of the wits, We're told, and Love a cross for them to bear; Joy shivers in the corner where she knits And Conscience always has the rocking-chair, Cheerful as when she tortured into fits The first cat that was ever killed by Care.


by Algernon Charles Swinburne | |

The Many

 Greene, garlanded with February's few flowers
Ere March came in with Marlowe's rapturous rage;
Peele, from whose hand the sweet white locks of age
Took the mild chaplet woven of honored hours;
Nash, laughing hard; Lodge, flushed from lyric bowers;
And Lilly, a goldfinch in a twisted cage
Fed by some gay great lady's pettish page
Till short sweet songs gush clear like short spring showers;
Kid, whose grim sport still gamboled over graves;
And Chettle, in whose fresh funereal verse
Weeps Marian yet on Robin's wildwood hearse;
Cooke, whose light boat of song one soft breath saves,
Sighed from a maiden's amorous mouth averse;
Live likewise ye--Time takes not you for slaves.


by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

To My Enemy

 Let those who will of friendship sing,
And to its guerdon grateful be,
But I a lyric garland bring
To crown thee, O, mine enemy! 

Thanks, endless thanks, to thee I owe
For that my lifelong journey through
Thine honest hate has done for me
What love perchance had failed to do.
I had not scaled such weary heights But that I held thy scorn in fear, And never keenest lure might match The subtle goading of thy sneer.
Thine anger struck from me a fire That purged all dull content away, Our mortal strife to me has been Unflagging spur from day to day.
And thus, while all the world may laud The gifts of love and loyalty, I lay my meed of gratitude Before thy feet, mine enemy!


by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

The Wood Pool

 Here is a voice that soundeth low and far
And lyric­voice of wind among the pines,
Where the untroubled, glimmering waters are,
And sunlight seldom shines.
Elusive shadows linger shyly here, And wood-flowers blow, like pale, sweet spirit-bloom, And white, slim birches whisper, mirrored clear In the pool's lucent gloom.
Here Pan might pipe, or wandering dryad kneel To view her loveliness beside the brim, Or laughing wood-nymphs from the byways steal To dance around its rim.
'Tis such a witching spot as might beseem A seeker for young friendship's trysting place, Or lover yielding to the immortal dream Of one beloved face.


by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

The Seeker

 I sought for my happiness over the world,
Oh, eager and far was my quest;
I sought it on mountain and desert and sea,
I asked it of east and of west.
I sought it in beautiful cities of men, On shores that were sunny and blue, And laughter and lyric and pleasure were mine In palaces wondrous to view; Oh, the world gave me much to my plea and my prayer But never I found aught of happiness there! Then I took my way back to a valley of old And a little brown house by a rill, Where the winds piped all day in the sentinel firs That guarded the crest of the hill; I went by the path that my childhood had known Through the bracken and up by the glen, And I paused at the gate of the garden to drink The scent of sweet-briar again; The homelight shone out through the dusk as of yore And happiness waited for me at the door!


by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

The Exile

 We told her that her far off shore was bleak and dour to view,
And that her sky was dull and mirk while ours was smiling blue.
She only sighed in answer, "It is even as ye say, But oh, the ragged splendor when the sun bursts through the gray!" We brought her dew-wet roses from our fairest summer bowers, We bade her drink their fragrance, we heaped her lap with flowers; She only said, with eyes that yearned, "Oh, if ye might have brought The pale, unscented blossoms by my father's lowly cot!" We bade her listen to the birds that sang so madly sweet, The lyric of the laughing stream that dimpled at our feet; "But, O," she cried, "I weary for the music wild that stirs When keens the mournful western wind among my native firs!" We told her she had faithful friends and loyal hearts anear, We prayed her take the fresher loves, we prayed her be of cheer; "Oh, ye are kind and true," she wept, "but woe's me for the grace Of tenderness that shines upon my mother's wrinkled face!"


by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

The Sea to the Shore

 Lo, I have loved thee long, long have I yearned and entreated!
Tell me how I may win thee, tell me how I must woo.
Shall I creep to thy white feet, in guise of a humble lover ? Shall I croon in mild petition, murmuring vows anew ? Shall I stretch my arms unto thee, biding thy maiden coyness, Under the silver of morning, under the purple of night ? Taming my ancient rudeness, checking my heady clamor­ Thus, is it thus I must woo thee, oh, my delight? Nay, 'tis no way of the sea thus to be meekly suitor­ I shall storm thee away with laughter wrapped in my beard of snow, With the wildest of billows for chords I shall harp thee a song for thy bridal, A mighty lyric of love that feared not nor would forego! With a red-gold wedding ring, mined from the caves of sunset, Fast shall I bind thy faith to my faith evermore, And the stars will wait on our pleasure, the great north wind will trumpet A thunderous marriage march for the nuptials of sea and shore.


by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

Morning along Shore

 Hark, oh hark the elfin laughter
All the little waves along,
As if echoes speeding after
Mocked a merry merman's song! 

All the gulls are out, delighting
In a wild, uncharted quest­
See the first red sunshine smiting
Silver sheen of wing and breast! 

Ho, the sunrise rainbow-hearted
Steals athwart the misty brine,
And the sky where clouds have parted
Is a bowl of amber wine! 

Sweet, its cradle-lilt partaking,
Dreams that hover o'er the sea,
But the lyric of its waking
Is a sweeter thing to me! 

Who would drowze in dull devotion
To his ease when dark is done,
And upon its breast the ocean
Like a jewel wears the sun? 

"Up, forsake a lazy pillow!" 
Calls the sea from cleft and cave,
Ho, for antic wind and billow
When the morn is on the wave!


by Billy Jno Hope | |

i wrote a life

 this might be the swan song
i have traveled beyond misty mountains
spilled my seed on the hungry rock
hallowed days
blasphemous timelines
art nourishment
prolific like sin
to the serpent edge of youth
once my head rolled in the streets
motors crashing by
inches from my intoxication
a fleshful laugh echoed in time
a mad initiation as part of the door
to the unrepentant lyric
heathen apprentices
i cracked the demon-s egg
tattooed pandora-s eye
with rage, blissillusion
madness conceived
a life, my methadone(placebo)


by A S J Tessimond | |

Cocoon For A Skeleton

 Clothes: to compose
The furtive, lone
Pillar of bone
To some repose.
To let hands shirk Utterance behind A pocket's blind Deceptive smirk.
To mask, belie The undue haste Of breast for breast Or thigh for thigh.
To screen, conserve The pose, when death Half strips the sheath And leaves the nerve.
To edit, glose Lyric desire And slake its fire In polished prose.


by Joyce Kilmer | |

Lionel Johnson

 (For the Rev.
John J.
Burke, C.
S.
P.
) There was a murkier tinge in London's air As if the honest fog blushed black for shame.
Fools sang of sin, for other fools' acclaim, And Milton's wreath was tossed to Baudelaire.
The flowers of evil blossomed everywhere, But in their midst a radiant lily came Candescent, pure, a cup of living flame, Bloomed for a day, and left the earth more fair.
And was it Charles, thy "fair and fatal King", Who bade thee welcome to the lovely land? Or did Lord David cease to harp and sing To take in his thine emulative hand? Or did Our Lady's smile shine forth, to bring Her lyric Knight within her choir to stand?


by Joyce Kilmer | |

Wealth

 (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.


by Sidney Lanier | |

Night

 A pale enchanted moon is sinking low
Behind the dunes that fringe the shadowy lea, 
And there is haunted starlight on the flow
Of immemorial sea.
I am alone and need no more pretend Laughter or smile to hide a hungry heart; I walk with solitude as with a friend Enfolded and apart.
We tread an eerie road across the moor Where shadows weave upon their ghostly looms, And winds sing an old lyric that might lure Sad queens from ancient tombs.
I am a sister to the loveliness Of cool far hill and long-remembered shore, Finding in it a sweet forgetfulness Of all that hurt before.
The world of day, its bitterness and cark, No longer have the power to make me weep; I welcome this communion of the dark As toilers welcome sleep.


by Louise Gluck | |

Nostos

 There was an apple tree in the yard --
this would have been
forty years ago -- behind,
only meadows.
Drifts of crocus in the damp grass.
I stood at that window: late April.
Spring flowers in the neighbor's yard.
How many times, really, did the tree flower on my birthday, the exact day, not before, not after? Substitution of the immutable for the shifting, the evolving.
Substitution of the image for relentless earth.
What do I know of this place, the role of the tree for decades taken by a bonsai, voices rising from the tennis courts -- Fields.
Smell of the tall grass, new cut.
As one expects of a lyric poet.
We look at the world once, in childhood.
The rest is memory.


by Dorothy Parker | |

Testament

 Oh, let it be a night of lyric rain
And singing breezes, when my bell is tolled.
I have so loved the rain that I would hold Last in my ears its friendly, dim refraln.
I shall lie cool and quiet, who have lain Fevered, and watched the book of day unfold.
Death will not see me flinch; the heart is bold That pain has made incapable of pain.
Kinder the busy worms than ever love; It will be peace to lie there, empty-eyed, My bed made secret by the leveling showers, My breast replenishing the weeds above.
And you will say of me, "Then has she died? Perhaps I should have sent a spray of flowers.
"


by Edgar Lee Masters | |

Edith Conant

 We stand about this place -- we, the memories;
And shade our eyes because we dread to read:
"June 17th, 1884, aged 21 years and 3 days.
" And all things are changed.
And we -- we, the memories, stand here for ourselves alone, For no eye marks us, or would know why we are here.
Your husband is dead, your sister lives far away, Your father is bent with age; He has forgotten you, he scarcely leaves the house Any more.
No one remembers your exquisite face, Your lyric voice! How you sang, even on the morning you were stricken, With piercing sweetness, with thrilling sorrow, Before the advent of the child which died with you.
It is all forgotten, save by us, the memories, Who are forgotten by the world.
All is changed, save the river and the hill -- Even they are changed.
Only the burning sun and the quiet stars are the same.
And we -- we, the memories, stand here in awe, Our eyes closed with the weariness of tears -- In immeasurable weariness!


by Robert William Service | |

Rhyme Builder

 I envy not those gay galoots
Who count on dying in their boots;
For that, to tell the sober truth
Sould be the privilege of youth;
But aged bones are better sped
To heaven from a downy bed.
So prop me up with pillows two, And serve me with the barley brew; And put a pencil in my hand, A copy book at my command; And let my final effort be To ring a rhyme of homely glee.
For since I've loved it oh so long, Let my last labour be in song; And when my pencil falters down, Oh may a final couplet crown The years of striving I have made To justify the jinglers trade.
Let me surrender with a rhyme My long and lovely lease of time; Let me be grateful for the gift To couple words in lyric lift; Let me song-build with humble hod, My last brick dedicate to God.


by Robert William Service | |

A Lyric Day

 I deem that there are lyric days
So ripe with radiance and cheer,
So rich with gratitude and praise
That they enrapture all the year.
And if there is a God babove, (As they would tell me in the Kirk,) How he must look with pride and love Upon his perfect handiwork! To-day has been a lyric day I hope I shall remember long, Of meadow dance and roundelay, Of woodland glee, of glow and song.
Such joy I saw in maidens eyes, In mother gaze such tender bliss .
.
.
How earth would rival paradise If every day could be like this! Why die, say I? Let us live on In lyric world of song and shine, With ecstasy from dawn to dawn, Until we greet the dawn Devine.
For I believe, with star and sun, With peak and plain, with sea and sod, Inextricably we are one, Bound in the Wholeness - God.


by Robert William Service | |

Your Poem

 My poem may be yours indeed
In melody and tone,
If in its rhythm you can read
A music of your own;
If in its pale woof you can weave
Your lovelier design,
'Twill make my lyric, I believe,
 More yours than mine.
I'm but a prompter at the best; Crude cues are all I give.
In simple stanzas I suggest - 'Tis you who make them live.
My bit of rhyme is but a frame, And if my lines you quote, I think, although they bear my name, 'Tis you who wrote.
Yours is the beauty that you see In any words I sing; The magic and the melody 'Tis you, dear friend, who bring.
Yea, by the glory and the gleam, The loveliness that lures Your thought to starry heights of dream, The poem's yours.


by Robert William Service | |

My Garden

 The world is sadly sick, they say,
And plagued by woe and pain.
But look! How looms my garden gay, With blooms in golden reign! With lyric music in the air, Of joy fulfilled in song, I can't believe that anywhere Is hate and harm and wrong.
A paradise my garden is, And there my day is spent; A steep myself in sunny bliss, Incredibly content.
Feeling that I am truly part Of peace so rapt and still, There's not a care within my heart .
.
.
How can the world be ill? Aye, though the land be sick they say, And named unto pain, My garden never was so gay, So innocent, so sane.
My roses mock at misery, My thrushes vie in song .
.
.
When only beauty I can see, How can the world be wrong?