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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.

Search for the best famous Lyric poems, articles about Lyric poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Lyric poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also: Best Member Poems

by Olu Oguibe | |

Song of Sorrow

Song of Sorrow 
for rosa diez

si només, però, aquesta
llum parada poguès durar 


I shall sing you a song of 
Sorrow when the moment comes.
It is the way of poets.
He will come bearing along his voice Like the lament of an old guitar.
Only night shall fall; another day dawn.
I shall sing you a tearful song.
In the desert the rain fell on me.
Bushfires danced their way through The undergrowth of my verse.
Your footfall soft as felt, you Stepped into the light and Asked the poet for a song.
I shall sing you a lyric of pain.
The blue moon peers through the foliage Of your eyelashes.
The minstrel hawks His tears through the streets of night.
A household god is asking for water; An old god is pleading at your door.
There's a white rose on your breast.
It is the fortune of poets; I shall sing you a song.
Untie the fresh leaves of dawn, I want to make my journey short.
I will go upon the hill and cast my little net, Decorate the river of your morning with petals; I shall speak the words of songs.
It is the destiny of poets.
I shall sing you A song of sorrow When the moment comes.


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.


More great poems below...

by C S Lewis | |

On Being Human

 Angelic minds, they say, by simple intelligence 
Behold the Forms of nature.
They discern Unerringly the Archtypes, all the verities Which mortals lack or indirectly learn.
Transparent in primordial truth, unvarying, Pure Earthness and right Stonehood from their clear, High eminence are seen; unveiled, the seminal Huge Principles appear.
The Tree-ness of the tree they know-the meaning of Arboreal life, how from earth's salty lap The solar beam uplifts it; all the holiness Enacted by leaves' fall and rising sap; But never an angel knows the knife-edged severance Of sun from shadow where the trees begin, The blessed cool at every pore caressing us -An angel has no skin.
They see the Form of Air; but mortals breathing it Drink the whole summer down into the breast.
The lavish pinks, the field new-mown, the ravishing Sea-smells, the wood-fire smoke that whispers Rest.
The tremor on the rippled pool of memory That from each smell in widening circles goes, The pleasure and the pang --can angels measure it? An angel has no nose.
The nourishing of life, and how it flourishes On death, and why, they utterly know; but not The hill-born, earthy spring, the dark cold bilberries.
The ripe peach from the southern wall still hot Full-bellied tankards foamy-topped, the delicate Half-lyric lamb, a new loaf's billowy curves, Nor porridge, nor the tingling taste of oranges.
—An angel has no nerves.
Far richer they! I know the senses' witchery Guards us like air, from heavens too big to see; Imminent death to man that barb'd sublimity And dazzling edge of beauty unsheathed would be.
Yet here, within this tiny, charmed interior, This parlour of the brain, their Maker shares With living men some secrets in a privacy Forever ours, not theirs.


by Alexander Pushkin | |

Lyric written in 1830

 What means my name to you?.
.
.
T'will die As does the melancholy murmur Of distant waves or, of a summer, The forest's hushed nocturnal sigh.
Found on a fading album page, Dim will it seem and enigmatic, Like words traced on a tomb, a relic Of some long dead and vanished age.
What's in my name?.
.
.
Long since forgot, Erased by new, tempestuous passion, of tenderness 'twill leave you not The lingering and sweet impression.
But in an hour of agony, Pray, speak it, and recall my image, And say, "He still remembers me, His heart alone still pays me homage.
"


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 | |

Rhyme-Smith

 Oh, I was born a lyric babe
(That last word is a bore -
It's only rhyme is astrolabe,"
Whose meaning I ignore.
) From cradlehood I lisped in numbers, Made jingles even in my slumbers.
Said Ma: "He'll be a bard, I know it.
" Said Pa: "let's hoe he will outgrow it.
" Alas! I never did and so A dreamer and a drone was I, Who persevered in want and woe His misery to versify.
Yea, I was doomed to be a failure (Old Browning rhymes that last with "pale lure"): And even starving in the gutter, My macaronics I would utter.
Then in a poor, cheap book I crammed, And to the public maw I tossed My bitter Dirges of the Damned, My Lyrics of the Lost.
"Let carping critic flay and flout My Ditties of the Down and Out - "There now," said I, "I've done with verse, My love, my weakness and my curse.
" Then lo! (As I would fain believe, Before they crown, the fates would shame us) I went to sleep one bitter eve, And woke to find that I was famous.
.
.
.
And so the sunny sequels were a Gay villa on the Riviera, A bank account, a limousine, a Life patterned dolce e divina.
Oh, yes, my lyric flight is flighty; My muse is much more mite than mighty: But poetry has been my friend, And rhyming's saved me in the end.


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?


by Robert William Service | |

The Living Dead

 Since I have come to years sedate
I see with more and more acumen
The bitter irony of Fate,
The vanity of all things human.
Why, just to-day some fellow said, As I surveyed Fame's outer portal: "By gad! I thought that you were dead.
" Poor me, who dreamed to be immortal! But that's the way with many men Whose name one fancied time-defying; We thought that they were dust and then We found them living by their dying.
Like dogs we penmen have our day, To brief best-sellerdom elected; And then, "thumbs down," we slink away And die forgotten and neglected.
Ah well, my lyric fling I've had; A thousand bits of verse I've minted; And some, alas! were very bad, And some, alack! were best unprinted.
But if I've made my muse a bawd (Since I am earthy as a ditch is), I'll answer humbly to my God: Most men at times have toyed with bitches.
Yes, I have played with Lady Rhyme, And had a long and lovely innings; And when the Umpire calls my time I'll blandly quit and take my winnings.
I'll hie me to some Sleepydale, And feed the ducks and pat the poodles, And prime my paunch with cakes and ale, And blether with the village noodles.
And then some day you'll idly scan The Times obituary column, And say: "Dear me, the poor old man!" And for a moment you'll look solemn.
"So all this time he's been alive - In realms of rhyme a second-rater .
.
.
But gad! to live to ninety-five: Let's toast his ghost - a sherry, waiter!"


by Robert William Service | |

Lord Let Me Live

 Lord, let me live, that more and more
 Your wonder world I may adore;
With every dawn to grow and grow
 Alive to graciousness aglow;
And every eve in beauty see
 Reason for rhapsody.
Lord, let me bide, that I may prove The buoyant brightness of my love For sapphire sea and lyric sky And buttercup and butterfly; And glory in the golden thought Of rapture You have wrought.
Lord, let me linger, just for this,-- To win to utterness of bliss; To see in every dawn design Proof of Your Providence divine; With night to find ablaze above, Assurance of Your love.
Lord, for Your praise my days prolong, That I may sing in sunny sort, And prove with my exultant song The longest life is all to short: Aye, even in a bead of dew To shrine in beauty--YOU.


by Robert William Service | |

Facility

 So easy 'tis to make a rhyme,
That did the world but know it,
Your coachman might Parnassus climb,
Your butler be a poet.
Then, oh, how charming it would be If, when in haste hysteric You called the page, you learned that he Was grappling with a lyric.
Or else what rapture it would yield, When cook sent up the salad, To find within its depths concealed A touching little ballad.
Or if for tea and toast you yearned, What joy to find upon it The chambermaid had coyly laid A palpitating sonnet.
Your baker could the fashion set; Your butcher might respond well; With every tart a triolet, With every chop a rondel.
Your tailor's bill .
.
.
well, I'll be blowed! Dear chap! I never knowed him .
.
.
He's gone and written me an ode, Instead of what I owed him.
So easy 'tis to rhyme .
.
.
yet stay! Oh, terrible misgiving! Please do not give the game away .
.
.
I've got to make my living.


by Robert William Service | |

Why Do Birds Sing?

 Let poets piece prismatic words,
Give me the jewelled joy of birds!

What ecstasy moves them to sing?
Is it the lyric glee of Spring,
The dewy rapture of the rose?
Is it the worship born in those
Who are of Nature's self a part,
The adoration of the heart?

Is it the mating mood in them
That makes each crystal note a gem?
Oh mocking bird and nightingale,
Oh mavis, lark and robin - hail!
Tell me what perfect passion glows
In your inspired arpeggios?

A thrush is thrilling as I write
Its obligato of delight;
And in its fervour, as in mine,
I fathom tenderness divine,
And pity those of earthy ear
Who cannot hear .
.
.
who cannot hear.
Let poets pattern pretty words: For lovely largesse - bless you, Birds!


by Robert William Service | |

Farewell To Verse

 In youth when oft my muse was dumb,
 My fancy nighly dead,
To make my inspiration come
 I stood upon my head;
And thus I let the blood down flow
 Into my cerebellum,
And published every Spring or so
 Slim tomes in vellum.
Alas! I am rheumatic now, Grey is my crown; I can no more with brooding brow Stand upside-down.
I fear I might in such a pose Burst brain blood-vessel; And that would be a woeful close To my rhyme wrestle.
If to write verse I must reverse I fear I'm stymied; In ink of prose I must immerse A pen de-rhymèd.
No more to spank the lyric lyre Like Keats or Browning, May I inspire the Sacred Fire My Upside-downing.


by Robert William Service | |

It Is Later Than You Think

 Lone amid the cafe's cheer,
Sad of heart am I to-night;
Dolefully I drink my beer,
But no single line I write.
There's the wretched rent to pay, Yet I glower at pen and ink: Oh, inspire me, Muse, I pray, It is later than you think! Hello! there's a pregnant phrase.
Bravo! let me write it down; Hold it with a hopeful gaze, Gauge it with a fretful frown; Tune it to my lyric lyre .
.
.
Ah! upon starvation's brink, How the words are dark and dire: It is later than you think.
Weigh them well.
.
.
.
Behold yon band, Students drinking by the door, Madly merry, bock in hand, Saucers stacked to mark their score.
Get you gone, you jolly scamps; Let your parting glasses clink; Seek your long neglected lamps: It is later than you think.
Look again: yon dainty blonde, All allure and golden grace, Oh so willing to respond Should you turn a smiling face.
Play your part, poor pretty doll; Feast and frolic, pose and prink; There's the Morgue to end it all, And it's later than you think.
Yon's a playwright -- mark his face, Puffed and purple, tense and tired; Pasha-like he holds his place, Hated, envied and admired.
How you gobble life, my friend; Wine, and woman soft and pink! Well, each tether has its end: Sir, it's later than you think.
See yon living scarecrow pass With a wild and wolfish stare At each empty absinthe glass, As if he saw Heaven there.
Poor damned wretch, to end your pain There is still the Greater Drink.
Yonder waits the sanguine Seine .
.
.
It is later than you think.
Lastly, you who read; aye, you Who this very line may scan: Think of all you planned to do .
.
.
Have you done the best you can? See! the tavern lights are low; Black's the night, and how you shrink! God! and is it time to go? Ah! the clock is always slow; It is later than you think; Sadly later than you think; Far, far later than you think.


by Robert William Service | |

A Song For Kilts

 How grand the human race would be
 If every man would wear a kilt,
A flirt of Tartan finery,
 Instead of trousers, custom built!
Nay, do not think I speak to joke:
 (You know I'm not that kind of man),
I am convinced that all men folk.
Should wear the costume of a Clan.
Imagine how it's braw and clean As in the wind it flutters free; And so conducive to hygiene In its sublime simplicity.
No fool fly-buttons to adjust,-- Wi' shanks and maybe buttocks bare; Oh chiels, just take my word on trust, A bonny kilt's the only wear.
'Twill save a lot of siller too, (And here a canny Scotsman speaks), For one good kilt will wear you through A half-a-dozen pairs of breeks.
And how it's healthy in the breeze! And how it swings with saucy tilt! How lassies love athletic knees Below the waggle of a kilt! True, I just wear one in my mind, Since sent to school by Celtic aunts, When girls would flip it up behind, Until I begged for lowland pants.
But now none dare do that to me, And so I sing with lyric lilt,-- How happier the world would be If every male would wear a kilt!


by Robert William Service | |

My Will

 I've made my Will.
I don't believe In luxury and wealth; And to those loving ones who grieve My age and frailing health I give the meed to soothe their ways That they may happy be, And pass serenely all their days In snug security.
That duty done, I leave behind The all I have to give To crippled children and the blind Who lamentably live; Hoping my withered hand may freight To happiness a few Poor innocents whom cruel fate Has cheated of their due.
A am no grey philanthropist, Too humble is my lot Yet how I'm glad to give the grist My singing mill has brought.
For I have had such lyric days, So rich, so full, so sweet, That I with gratitude and praise Would make my life complete.
I'VE MADE MY WILL: now near the end, At peace with all mankind, To children lame I would be friend, And brother to the blind .
.
.
And if there be a God, I pray He bless my last bequest, And in His love and pity say: "Good servant,--rest!"


by Robert William Service | |

Profane Poet

 Oh how it would enable me
 To titillate my vanity
If you should choose to label me
 A Poet of Profanity!
For I've been known with vulgar slang
 To stoke the Sacred Fire,
And even used a word like 'hang',
 Suggesting ire.
Yea, I've been slyly told, although It savours of inanity, In print the ladies often show A failing for profanity.
So to delight the dears I try, And often in the past In fabricating sonnets I Have fulminated: 'Blast!' I know I shock the sober folk Who doubt my lyric sanity, And readers of my rhyme provoke By publishing profanity, But oh a hale and hearty curse Is very dear to me, And so I end this bit of verse With d-- and d-- and d--!


by Robert William Service | |

Allouette

 Singing larks I saw for sale -
(Ah! the pain of it)
Plucked and ready to impale
On a roasting spit;
Happy larks that summer-long
Stormed the radiant sky,
Adoration in their song .
.
.
Packed to make a pie.
> Hark! from springs of joy unseen Spray their jewelled notes.
Tangle them in nets of green, Twist their lyric throats; Clip their wings and string them tight, Stab them with a skewer, All to tempt the apptite Of the epicure.
Shade of Shelley! Come not nigh This accursèd spot, Where for sixpence one can buy Skylarks for the pot; Dante, paint a blacker hell, Plunge in deeper darks Wretches who can slay and sell Sunny-hearted larks.
You who eat, you are the worst: By internal pains, May you ever be accurst Who pluck these poor remains.
But for you wingèd joy would soar To heaven from the sod: In ecstasy a lark would pour Its gratitude to God.


by Robert William Service | |

Bookshelf

 I like to think that when I fall,
A rain-drop in Death's shoreless sea,
This shelf of books along the wall,
Beside my bed, will mourn for me.
Regard it.
.
.
.
Aye, my taste is queer.
Some of my bards you may disdain.
Shakespeare and Milton are not here; Shelly and Keats you seek in vain.
Wordsworth, Tennyson, Browning too, Remarkably are not in view.
Who are they? Omar first you see, With Vine and Rose and Nightingale, Voicing my pet philosphy Of Wine and Song.
.
.
.
Then Reading Gaol, Where Fate a gruesome pattern makes, And dawn-light shudders as it wakes.
The Ancient Mariner is next, With eerie and terrific text; The Burns, with pawky human touch - Poor devil! I have loved him much.
And now a gay quartette behold: Bret Harte and Eugene Field are here; And Henly, chanting brave and bold, And Chesteron, in praise of Beer.
Lastly come valiant Singers three; To whom this strident Day belongs: Kipling, to whom I bow the knee, Masefield, with rugged sailor songs.
.
.
.
And to my lyric troupe I add With greatful heart - The Shropshire Lad.
Behold my minstrels, just eleven.
For half my life I've loved them well.
And though I have no hope of Heaven, And more than Highland fear of Hell, May I be damned if on this shelf ye find a rhyme I made myself.


by Robert William Service | |

Maids In May

 Three maids there were in meadow bright,
The eldest less then seven;
Their eyes were dancing with delight,
And innocent as Heaven.
Wild flowers they wound with tender glee, Their cheeks with rapture rosy; All radiant they smiled at me, When I besought a posy.
She gave me a columbine, And one a poppy brought me; The tiniest, with eyes ashine, A simple daisy sought me.
And as I went my sober way, I heard their careless laughter; Their hearts too happy with to-day To care for what comes after.
.
.
.
.
.
.
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That's long ago; they're gone, all three, To walk amid the shadows; Forgotten is their lyric glee In still and sunny meadows.
For Columbine loved life too well, And went adventure fairing; And sank into the pit of hell, And passed but little caring.
While Poppy was a poor man's wife, And children had a-plenty; And went, worn out with toil and strife When she was five-and-twenty.
And Daisy died while yet a child, As fragile blossoms perish, When Winter winds are harsh and wild, With none to shield and cherish.
Ah me! How fate is dark and dour To little Children of the Poor.


by Robert William Service | |

The Cuckoo

 No lyric line I ever penned
The praise this parasitic bird;
And what is more, I don't intend
To write a laudatory word,
Since in my garden robins made
A nest with eggs of dainty spot,
And then a callous cuckoo laid
 A lone on on the lot.
Of course the sillies hatched it out Along with their two tiny chicks, And there it threw its weight about, But with the others would not mix.
In fact, it seemed their guts to hate, And crossly kicked them to the ground, So that next morning, sorry fate! Two babes stone dead I found.
These stupid robins, how they strove To gluttonize that young cuckoo! And like a prodigy it throve, And daily greedier it grew.
How it would snap and glup and spit! Till finally it came to pass, Growing too big the nest to fit, It fell out on the grass.
So for a week they fed it there, As in a nook of turf it lay; But it was scornful of their care, for it was twice as big as they.
When lo! one afternoon I heard A flutelike call: Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Then suddenly that foulsome bird Flapped to its feet and flew.
I'm sure it never said goodbye To its fond foster Pa and Ma, Though to their desolated sigh It might have chirruped: "Au revoir.
" But no, it went in wanton mood, Flying the coop for climates new And so I say: "Ingratitude, They name's Cuckoo.
"


by Robert William Service | |

Pantheist

 Lolling on a bank of thyme
Drunk with Spring I made this rhyme.
.
.
.
Though peoples perish in defeat, And races suffer to survive, The sunshine never was so sweet, So vast he joy to be alive; The laughing leaves, the glowing grass Proclaim how good it is to be; The pines are lyric as I pass, The hills hosannas sing to me.
Pink roses ring yon placid palm, Soft shines the blossom of the peach; The sapphire sea is satin calm, With bell-like tinkle on the beach; A lizard lazes in the sun, A bee is bumbling to my hand; Shy breezes whisper: "You are one With us because you understand.
" Yea, I am one with all I see, With wind and wave, with pine and palm; Their very elements in me Are fused to make me what I am.
Through me their common life-stream flows, And when I yield this human breath, In leaf and blossom, bud and rose, Live on I will .
.
.
There is no Death.
Oh, let me flee from woeful things, And listen to the linnet's song; To solitude my spirit clings, To sunny woodlands I belong.
O foolish men! Yourselves destroy.
But I from pain would win surcease.
.
.
.
O Earth, grant me eternal joy! O Nature - everlasting peace! Amen.


by Arthur Symons | |

At Burgos

 Miraculous silver-work in stone 
Against the blue miraculous skies, 
The belfry towers and turrets rise 
Out of the arches that enthrone 
That airy wonder of the skies.
Softly against the burning sun The great cathedral spreads its wings; High up, the lyric belfry sings.
Behold Ascension Day begun Under the shadow of those wings!