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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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Written 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.


Written 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.


Written by | |

This Month the Almonds Bloom at Kandahar

   The singer only sang the Joy of Life,
     For all too well, alas! the singer knew
   How hard the daily toil, how keen the strife,
     How salt the falling tear; the joys how few.

   He who thinks hard soon finds it hard to live,
     Learning the Secret Bitterness of Things:
   So, leaving thought, the singer strove to give
     A level lightness to his lyric strings.

   He only sang of Love; its joy and pain,
     But each man in his early season loves;
   Each finds the old, lost Paradise again,
     Unfolding leaves, and roses, nesting doves.

   And though that sunlit time flies all too fleetly,
     Delightful Days that dance away too soon!
   Its early morning freshness lingers sweetly
     Throughout life's grey and tedious afternoon.

   And he, whose dreams enshrine her tender eyes,
     And she, whose senses wait his waking hand,
   Impatient youth, that tired but sleepless lies,
     Will read perhaps, and reading, understand.

   Oh, roseate lips he would have loved to kiss,
     Oh, eager lovers that he never knew!
   What should you know of him, or words of his?—
     But all the songs he sang were sung for you!


More great poems below...

Written 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)


Written 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.


Written 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.


Written 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.


Written by Henry Van Dyke | |

Milton

 I 

Lover of beauty, walking on the height 
Of pure philosophy and tranquil song; 
Born to behold the visions that belong 
To those who dwell in melody and light; 
Milton, thou spirit delicate and bright!
What drew thee down to join the Roundhead throng
Of iron-sided warriors, rude and strong, 
Fighting for freedom in a world half night? 

Lover of Liberty at heart wast thou,
Above all beauty bright, all music clear:
To thee she bared her bosom and her brow,
Breathing her virgin promise in thine ear,
And bound thee to her with a double vow, --
Exquisite Puritan, grave Cavalier! 


II 

The cause, the cause for which thy soul resigned 
Her singing robes to battle on the plain, 
Was won, O poet, and was lost again; 
And lost the labour of thy lonely mind
On weary tasks of prose.
What wilt thou find To comfort thee for all the toil and pain? What solace, now thy sacrifice is vain And thou art left forsaken, poor, and blind? Like organ-music comes the deep reply: "The cause of truth looks lost, but shall be won.
For God hath given to mine inward eye Vision of England soaring to the sun.
And granted me great peace before I die, In thoughts of lowly duty bravely done.
" III O bend again above thine organ-board, Thou blind old poet longing for repose! Thy Master claims thy service not with those Who only stand and wait for his reward.
He pours the heavenly gift of song restored Into thy breast, and bids thee nobly close A noble life, with poetry that flows In mighty music of the major chord.
Where hast thou learned this deep, majestic strain, Surpassing all thy youthful lyric grace, To sing of Paradise? Ah, not in vain The griefs that won at Dante's side thy place, And made thee, Milton, by thy years of pain, The loftiest poet of the Saxon race!


Written 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!


Written 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.


Written by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

When the Dark Comes Down

 When the dark comes down, oh, the wind is on the sea
With lisping laugh and whimper to the red reef's threnody,
The boats are sailing homeward now across the harbor bar
With many a jest and many a shout from fishing grounds afar.
So furl your sails and take your rest, ye fisher folk so brown, For task and quest are ended when the dark comes down.
When the dark comes down, oh, the landward valleys fill Like brimming cups of purple, and on every landward hill There shines a star of twilight that is watching evermore The low, dim lighted meadows by the long, dim-lighted shore, For there, where vagrant daisies weave the grass a silver crown, The lads and lassies wander when the dark comes down.
When the dark comes down, oh, the children fall asleep, And mothers in the fisher huts their happy vigils keep; There's music in the song they sing and music on the sea, The loving, lingering echoes of the twilight's litany, For toil has folded hands to dream, and care has ceased to frown, And every wave's a lyric when the dark comes down.


Written 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!


Written 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!"


Written 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.


Written 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!